25 June 2018 – Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy, Catherine Byrne T.D., together with Paul Reid, Pfizer Ireland MD, Mayor of Wexford, Councillor Jim Moore, Janis Morrissey, Irish Heart Foundation, and Lee Chin, Wexford Hurler and Pfizer Healthy Town Ambassador, have today announced that Wexford Town is Pfizer Healthy Town 2018.
Now in its seventh year, Pfizer Healthy Town is an annual eight-week public programme that aims to enhance the health and wellbeing of communities across Ireland. Supported by Healthy Ireland, it aligns with the World Health Organisation’s Healthy Cities initiative and Healthy Ireland’s Healthy Towns and Counties and establishes that every town has the potential to be a Healthy Town. ‘Previous Healthy Towns have included Tullamore, Navan, Athlone, Portlaoise, Wicklow and Kilkenny.
Healthy Town 2018 will provide the people of Wexford Town with tools and advice to improve their health and wellbeing through free events, information seminars and practical workshops. Residents of Wexford Town can avail of the exciting opportunities Healthy Town status brings and pay more attention to their health and wellbeing, while inspiring other residents across Co. Wexford and around Ireland to do likewise. Healthy Town calls on everyone to make simple, small changes and the Wexford Town Healthy Town 2018 programme of events this autumn will be in the areas of: “Heart”, “Mind”, “Body” and “Nutrition”.
The programme also provides local clubs, groups, and businesses, that have a focus on health and wellbeing, an opportunity to highlight all they have to offer to the local community by being profiled on the ‘Healthy Town Hub’ – an illustrated map of Wexford Town which will showcase organisations in the town that offer health and wellbeing-related services. Organisations can apply online through the official Facebook page (Facebook.com/HealthyTownIreland) to be included in the map, subject to meeting specific criteria.
As part of the programme, research was carried out in Wexford Town by Behaviour & Attitudes in May this year, which measured the perceptions of people in the town in relation to health and wellbeing. Three quarters of the people surveyed (75 percent) said that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important to them, but only 36 percent said that they felt knowledgeable about health and wellbeing.
Welcoming the announcement, Minister of State for Health Promotion Catherine Byrne T.D. said, "I am delighted to officially unveil Wexford Town as the chosen Pfizer Healthy Town for 2018. Government, through Healthy Ireland, is committed to supporting individuals to take responsibility for their personal health and wellbeing and make small changes. Pfizer Healthy Town helps people to do this and I’m glad to see it shine a spotlight on the wealth of resources available in our towns, that people may not always be aware of. I am looking forward to seeing the programme develop over the summer and encourage everybody in Wexford Town and beyond to get involved and commit to making some small changes that can have a big impact on health and wellbeing."
Paul Reid, Managing Director Pfizer Ireland said, “Since we began Pfizer Healthy Town in 2012, six towns in Ireland have embraced health and wellbeing through our programme of events and supports. We hope that the people of Wexford Town will be just as inspired and involved this year. Healthy Town is designed to be an accessible, positive programme – with input from local representatives, businesspeople and members of the public to ensure it serves the needs of the local community. We conducted some research into the current health and wellbeing of the people of Wexford Town, and encouragingly 85 percent of people surveyed said that they exercise regularly. For this reason, we are looking forward to seeing some very active participation and to making Wexford Town one of the Healthiest Towns in Ireland.”
Wexford Town Native, Hurler and Ambassador for Healthy Town 2018, Lee Chin said, “I am very proud to represent my home town as ambassador for this year’s Pfizer Healthy Town. This is a fantastic opportunity for Wexford Town to showcase the huge variety of health and wellbeing services available to everyone in the community. Keeping fit and healthy is incredibly important to me as part of my daily routine, and I know it can be a challenge to take the first step towards a healthier you. I encourage everyone in Wexford Town and beyond to get involved in this year’s programme of events – whether it’s attending a health seminar or participating in a walking group – one step at a time will make all the difference. A full list of events, updates and tips will be available in the months ahead on the Healthy Town Facebook page, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in Wexford Town getting involved to make our town healthier!”
Mayor of Wexford, Cllr. Jim Moore, said, “It is a wonderful honour for Wexford Town to be chosen as this year’s Healthy Town. Wexford Town has an array of facilities and many organisations which are dedicated to promoting health and wellbeing, and this is a fantastic way to highlight those who are driving the health agenda in our community. Our Council will take an active role to drive participation among people of all ages and backgrounds from across the county, and we hope everyone will get involved in any way they can and make the most of this exciting programme.”
Janis Morrissey, Head of Health Promotion, Information and Training, Irish Heart Foundation, said, “Heart disease and stroke remain the most common cause of death in Ireland and the best way to reduce risk is adopting healthy habits – from healthy eating to regular physical activity. As part of Healthy Town, we will be organising events and hands-on seminars to equip people in Wexford with even more tools to lead a healthier lifestyle. We are proud to be a part of this important initiative, and we encourage everyone in Wexford Town to take part this coming September and October.”
The programme of events for Healthy Town 2018 will be launched during the summer. In the meantime, people in Wexford Town 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.
Published: 25th June 2018.