Pfizer has today announced that Tullamore, Co. Offaly is being unveiled as Healthy Town 2017, which will see a health and wellbeing programme taking place in the town in the months ahead. During the summer, Pfizer will roll out an online awareness initiative, culminating in a Healthy Town programme in September and October, with free events, information seminars and health checks taking place in Tullamore.
Now in its sixth year, Pfizer Healthy Town is an annual programme that aims to enhance the health and wellbeing of communities around Ireland. It aligns with the World Health Organisation’s Healthy Cities initiative and Healthy Ireland’sHealthy Towns and Counties, and establishes that every town has the potential to be a Healthy Town. ‘Healthy Ireland’, the national framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing of Ireland, supports the programme. Previous Healthy Towns have included Navan, Athlone, Portlaoise, Wicklow and Kilkenny.
Healthy Town 2017 aims to provide the people of Tullamore with tools and advice to improve their health and wellbeing through free events, health checks and seminars. It will provide residents of Tullamore with an opportunity to pay more attention to their overall health and wellbeing, while inspiring other residents across Co. Offaly and around Ireland to do likewise. It calls on everyone to make simple, small changes to benefit their overall health. The Tullamore Healthy Town 2017 programme of events this autumn will include events along the themes of: ‘My Mind’, ‘My Body’ and ‘My Heart’.
The programme also provides local clubs, groups, and businesses with a platform to highlight all they have to offer to the local community; the ‘Healthy Town Hub’ – an illustrated map of Tullamore which will showcase organisations in Tullamore that offer health and wellbeing-related services. Organisations will be able to apply online to be included in the map, subject to meeting criteria.
As part of the programme, research was carried out in Tullamore to measure the perceptions of people in the town in relation to health and wellbeing. Almost three quarters of the people surveyed said that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important to them, but only 33 percent said that they felt knowledgeable about health and wellbeing.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister of State for Health Promotion Marcella Corcoran Kennedy TD said, “I am delighted to officially unveil Tullamore as Pfizer Healthy Town 2017. Aligned to national policy and the Healthy Ireland programme, Pfizer Healthy Town is an excellent programme to encourage people to make small health and wellbeing changes, which can have a big impact. It celebrates everything our regional towns have to offer from a health and wellbeing perspective, and highlights the many excellent resources that are available locally in towns, and indeed cities and counties, around Ireland. I am looking forward to seeing the programme develop over the summer and encourage everybody in Tullamore and beyond to get involved.”
Offaly native and Ambassador for Healthy Town 2017, Neil Delamere said, “As an Offaly-man, I am proud to be part of the 2017 Healthy Town programme. Offaly is a county with a vibrant sporting culture, inclusive of all people, so I am very proud that Pfizer has chosen Tullamore as Healthy Town 2017. Healthy Town is an annual programme that aims to enhance the health and wellbeing of communities around the country. I would like to encourage the people of Tullamore, and the wider Offaly community, to make the most of the wealth of clubs, groups, facilities and resources that are at their fingertips in their home town to help boost their health and wellbeing. A full list of events is available on the Healthy Town Facebook page – so tell your family, friends and neighbours and be part of it in 2017.”
Cllr. Eddie Fitzpatrick, Cathaoirleach, Offaly County Council, said, “Offaly has a rich sporting heritage – sport has played, and continues to play, a central part in the life of the county. There is a wide range of sporting activities currently on offer in towns and villages across the county, however local people are interested in increasing participation in sport and physical activity so we are delighted that Tullamore has been selected as Pfizer Healthy Town 2017. This health and wellbeing programme, which will run through September and October, will consist of free events, information seminars and health checks and will further drive the county’s health agenda and drive participation among people of all ages and backgrounds.”
Paul Reid, Managing Director Pfizer Ireland said, “We are delighted to announce that Tullamore has been chosen as Healthy Town 2017. Healthy Town is designed to be an accessible, positive programme and for the past five years, we’ve seen communities around Ireland really embrace the concept. From local representatives, to businesspeople and members of the public, people have been keen to get involved and make small steps in relation to improving their health and wellbeing. We conducted some research into the current health and wellbeing of the people of Tullamore, and found that 80 percent of people surveyed exercise regularly – we hope to grow this figure even further with the roll out our Healthy Town programme. We are calling on the whole community to get behind the programme, and make Tullamore the Healthiest Town in Ireland.”
Janis Morrissey, Head of Health Promotion, Irish Heart, said, “Heart disease and stroke are our greatest killers and by looking after your heart, it means you will also be there to look after the hearts you love. At Irish Heart, we empower the people of Ireland to live longer, healthier lives and we will continue to support the Healthy Town community initiative, because making small changes to your lifestyle such as diet and becoming active can add up to big benefits – adding years to your life. To date Irish Heart has provided over 1000 free heart health checks to check blood pressure and cholesterol as part of the Healthy Town programme which is vital to help people reduce their risk of heart disease and stroke. There is great potential for the people of Offaly to improve their heart health and wellbeing by participating in Healthy Town 2017.”
Cllr Frank Moran, Cathaoirleach, Tullamore Municipal District, said, “I am delighted that Tullamore has been chosen as the Pfizer Healthy Town 2017. I look forward to helping to roll out a full programme of events. I have no doubt the community of Tullamore will put their full support behind this initiative.”
The programme of events for Healthy Town 2017 will be launched during the summer. In the meantime, people in Tullamore are encouraged to keep up to date at www.facebook.com/HealthyTownIreland and share updates on social media about their health and wellbeing plans, using the hashtag #MyHealthyTown.