Top health award for journo Sarah

Sarah McFeely receives her reward
Sarah McFeely receives her reward

Derry journalism students from NWRC swept the board when they were among those honoured this week at the prestigious Investing for Health Media Awards (IFH) held in Derry.

Sarah McFeely, from the Waterside, received first prize for best written journalism piece after penning a piece on stoma surgery.

Her classmates Finola Dolan, Teresa Stewart and Sarah Logue all collected joint runner-up prizes.

The awards run by the Public Health Agency (PHA) Western Investing for Health (WIH) partnership are in their sixth year and aim to highlight local public health issues.

They are open to students across Northern Ireland who study journalism, photography and moving image.

Brendan Bonner, PHA Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement (west) and co-chair of the WIFH partnership said:

“The PHA is delighted with the calibre of entries again this year. We want to congratulate the winners and all the entrants who, as our future journalist and media professionals, submitted well thought out and interesting approaches to highlight local public health issues.

“We want to see the media reflect on the key issues that lead to poor health and well-being and to signpost their audiences to the appropriate support.

The quality of the work submitted this year, and this award scheme itself, is a small but reassuring step in that direction.”

Sarah, 23, who wrote a thought provoking piece on the affects of stoma surgery on young people entitled “Positive Outlook after Surgery” was delighted to win.

“I decided to write this piece on stoma surgery as my friend Connor and my cousin have both been through stoma surgery at a young age and it was something I had never heard of before.

“I thought it would be really good to raise awareness and show its not the end of the world if it happens to you. I didn’t expect to win but obviously I’m delighted it was a really nice surprise.”

BBC’s Ireland Correspondent, Mark Simpson, guest speaker who presented the awards said:

“Congratulations to the winners. They need to make sure they keep moving forward.

“As regards to jobs keep trying, begging and remember that the little things in training are just as important as well as writing. Well done to everyone.

“I started off in local council at a young age and with determination comes great things.

“The public health agency has provided students with a great platform and will look good on their CVs.”