Trust Supports Omagh's Heart Town Status

25/02/2011

Trust Supports Omagh's Heart Town Status

Omagh District Council has become one of the first places in Northern Ireland to wear its heart on its sleeve and sign up as a British Heart Foundation (BHF) Northern Ireland Heart Town.

 

Omagh District Council has teamed up with BHF Northern Ireland to help put the heart into the Omagh area as part of the BHF’s Mending Broken Hearts Appeal which has been launched to mark the charity’s 50th anniversary, this year.

 

Heart Towns are a brand new initiative from your heart charity that brings communities together through local fundraising and volunteering as well as raising awareness of heart disease and offering residents a raft of support services including, schools initiatives, workplace health and lifestyle information resources.

 

Gary Wilson, BHF Northern Ireland Volunteer Fundraising Manager says: “We are delighted that Omagh District Council has decided to become a Heart Town. There are many activities and events happening throughout the year that local people can get involved in. We will be working with the local community to raise awareness of heart disease and raise money for BHF Northern Ireland’s Mending Broken Hearts Appeal. Please get involved and pledge your support today.” 

 

The BHF is aiming for as many towns and cities across the UK to sign up and become a Heart Town, to help the growing issue of heart and circulatory disease, the UK’s biggest killer.

 

Speaking at the launch of Heart Town Omagh, Vice Chair of Omagh District Council Councillor Anne Marie Fitzgerald said “Omagh is delighted to be one of the first towns in Northern Ireland to sign up as a Heart Town. In the course of my work, I see the effects of heart related disease all too often and I see at first hand the impact it can have not only on the victim but also on their families.  Over the next 12 months there will be a concentrated effort to highlight the toll which heart and circulatory disease has on our community and to raise funds for research into how the heart might heal itself”

 

Alan Corry-Finn, Western Health & Social Care Trust Director of Primary Care & Older People’s Services is urging local people to get involved in the Omagh Heart Town initiative.  Speaking about Omagh becoming a Heart Town he said: “Omagh Heart Town is an exciting new initiative where all members of the general public can now become involved in a proactive way to enhance the health of their local communities.  It not only involves people becoming more informed but by their participation in the scheme they can raise awareness, learn new life saving skills and help their families and friends live longer healthier lives. They can also help prevent some of the nearly 5,000 deaths per year from heart and circulatory diseases in Northern Ireland.  This is a great opportunity for both individuals and families to come together and pledge their support for the future health and well being of the people of Omagh.”

 

The Mending Broken Hearts Appeal is the biggest ever fundraising appeal ever launched in the BHF’s history. The goal is simple: to fund the research that could begin to ‘mend broken hearts’ in as little as 10 years and save and improve the lives of millions within decades.

 

There is no cure for a broken heart. This ground-breaking research can change that and help researchers learn how to teach the heart to ‘heal itself’.

 

In order to do this the charity needs to spend £50 million on the research to repair damaged hearts. The hope is, if it can get the money, it could be funding trials with heart failure patients in as little as five years. That’s why Omagh’s support is so vital.

 

Every person in the Omagh District Council area really can make a difference and help give hope to millions. You can do almost anything you like! Volunteer your time, buy BHF Northern Ireland great new products, donate much-needed funds or even get on your bike.

 

Whoever you are, there’s a way for you to get involved and give hope.  To find out more about Heart Towns visit bhf.org.uk/hearttowns or call your local Fundraising Volunteer Manager Gary Wilson on 028 6863 3113 or email wilsong@bhf.org.uk