Council lights up red for NI chest heart and stroke
Derry and Strabane District Council will be lighting the town red this week to mark Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke's National Heart month.
Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Alderman Graham Warke, has facilitated the lighting of the city's Council offices on Strand Road and the Strabane offices on the Derry Road in the charity's signature colour on Tuesday February 1st.
"I am pleased to light up Council buildings in Derry and Strabane to mark National Heart Month and to help raise funds and awareness of cardiovascular health," said Mayor Warke.
"There isn't a family in our City and District who haven't been directly affected by heart disease and it remains the biggest single cause of premature deaths here.
"Many heart and circulatory diseases are caused by risk factors that we can alleviate with changes to behaviour so I would urge people to make a conscious effort to cut down on smoking and poor eating habits this month and increase your physical activity."
For the whole month of February NICHS encourage people to think about their cardiovascular health and the steps they can take towards a healthier, stronger heart such as eating healthily and getting active.
The charity are this month hosting a Red Dress Fun Run, proudly supported by MACE, which is a five kilometre run or walk event that aims to raise funds and awareness for heart disease.
Last year, the Red Dress Fun Run went virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions, with hundreds of participants taking part in their local area raising vital funds to combat heart disease.
This year, the event returns to its home venue of Stormont Estate, however the virtual element remains with the charity encouraging participants who cannot make it to the main event to complete 5K their way during the month of February.
Jackie Trainor, Director of Income Generation at NICHS said; "We are so grateful for the support of Alderman Graham Warke as we look forward to the Red Dress Fun Run 2022.
"Today there are over 335,000 people living with a chest, heart or stroke condition in Northern Ireland - many of these people will live in the Derry City and Strabane area.
"NICHS has been by the side of the local community since 1946 and we hope local people will join us at the Red Dress Fun Run 2022 to show their support for our work in our special 75th anniversary year."
Jackie is urging family members of every generation, age and ability to sign up to the event: "Please support us by running, walking, dancing, skipping or wheeling 5K with us on Sunday 27th February at 11am at Stormont Estate, or, if you can't make the live event you can do 5K your way any day, or days, in February.
"Everyone is welcome to come along and join in the fun - even the family pooch!"
The charity is also inviting primary school pupils to join in the fun by hosting their own fun run anytime this February, with participating schools receiving a certificate of thanks and prizes up for grabs.
If you have been inspired to step up to the challenge you can sign up to the Red Dress Fun Run at www.nichs.org.uk/RedDressRun.
You can find out more about getting your primary school involved at www.nichs.org.uk/PSRedDressFunRun