When local health facilitator, Margaret Cunningham, decided to take her men’s health project into bars around Derry she could never imagined how successful it would turn out to be.
“Men are not as easy to target when it comes to health so if Mohammed will not go to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed,” said Margaret.
Margaret came up with the idea for the ‘Boys to Men’ project several weeks ago and she hosted her first event in George’s Bar on Easter Monday.
“The reason I wanted to hold the first event on Easter Monday is because it was the anniversary of my own father, Charlie Smith’s 18th anniversary of his death.
“My daddy was a great man for a pint and a bit of music and I often wonder that had ‘Boys to Men’ been around when he was alive would we have been able to treat his bowel cancer better?”
The ‘Boys to Men’ project involves Margaret giving men drinking in a bar a talk about their health. She is also able to check their cholesterol levels, blood pressure and weight.
“The event on Easter Monday went really well. As a result we were able to refer two of the men on to GPs. We had another two men who are borderline and we plan to keep an eye on them.
“Some men who were drinking in other bars heard about what was happening and came up to get their health checked too - it was a real success.”
The next stop for Margaret’s ‘Boys to Men’ project is the Oak Grove Bar in Bishop Street on Monday evening from 5pm to 7pm.
“I would encourage anyone with an interest in having their health checked to come along. It might be the best decision you ever make plus the entire service is completely free,” she said.