Local people are being urged to get their dancing shoes on as the city prepares to set a new jive dancing world record.
The move is part of a major new campaign by Derry organisation DrinkWise & Age Well to raise awareness that “there’s plenty of fun to be had without involving alcohol”.
The Drink Wise & Jive event will see hundreds of people take to the city centre in Derry to jive into the record books.
The event will take place before Country Comes to City in Ebrington Square on Saturday July 1st. People will gather at 1pm ahead of the World Record bid getting under way at 2pm.
The organisers and participants will attempt to create the Largest Jive Dance in the world.
The current record stands at 250 people, and organisers say they are confident in local people’s ability to double this number.
Participants will take part in a synchronised jive for five minutes.
Drink Wise Age Well, a Big Lottery Funded programme which offers a variety of support to those aged 50 and over to help them make healthier choices about alcohol as they age. The group says that alcohol related issues are often thought of as a young person’s issue, but life events such as retirement, bereavement and aging related health issues, can have a bigger negative impact on people as they age and bodies start to process alcohol in a different way.
They also said that often people feel ashamed or embarrassed to come forward for support, which means their quality of life can suffer as well as their family members.
Joanne Smith, Locality Manager for DrinkWise Age Well said: “We’re delighted to announce the Drink Wise & Jive World Record Attempt and are sure we’ll have great support in achieving it. Most of us have been touched by alcohol related issues in our homes or communities and know the harm it can cause. Unfortunately there is still a stigma attached to those experiencing issues and we’re hoping that by raising awareness in such a public way, we can show people that there should be no shame in seeking support and that Drink Wise Age Well is here to help.”
Councillor Hilary McClintock, who attended the recent launch in her capacity as Mayor, said she is fully supportive of the event. “This is a fantastic event, not only does it promise to be a lot of fun but it’s a fantastic way of getting out the message with regard to alcohol and encouraging people to make healthier choices and be more responsible,” she said.
Drink Wise Age Well is a national programme led by Addiction NI in the north and delivering support, activities and training to individuals, families and front line staff. It is delivered throughout the Western Trust area in partnership with Bogside & Brandywell Health Forum, Arc Healthy Living Centre and Business in the Community.
To register for the event or to find out more about Drink Wise Age Well, call 02882839240 or log onto www.register.primoevents.com/ps/event/DrinkWiseJive. Entry is £10.