NICHS health checks held at coffee morning

LOCAL residents and politicians were able to check the state of their health at the recent cofee morning for the Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke group.

Many stroke sufferers were among those who got their blood pressure checked, received advice on healthy eating and even had a skincare check at the information day in Laurencetown Community Centre.

Home energy and safety advice was also offered to those who attended, including Deputy First Minister John O’Dowd, MP David Simpson, and Upper Bann MLAs Dolores Kelly and Jo-Anne Dobson.

Andrew Dougal, NICHS Chief Executive, said, “Many people who have a stroke are often housebound and as a result have higher heating costs. NICHS wishes to provide as much help and support for people who have had a stroke.

“This event is a great way to bring many organisations together who can help and advise stroke survivors on energy efficiency and other areas to ensure they have the best possible support and care to help rebuild their lives.”

Meanwhile Banbridge residents were able to find out if they were wasting energy as NICHS hosted a Home Energy and Advice Day for 70 members of their Stroke Scheme.

The group is one of the six finalists in Power NI’s ‘BIG Energy Saving Challenge’.

Members of the group were invited to meet with representatives from Power NI to discuss grants, offers and simple energy saving methods.

There was also an opportunity for them to complete a ‘Home Energy Check’ which allows members of the group to understand their home’s energy efficiency performance, which will help to reduce energy consumption and save money.

Scheme coordinator, Lorraine Henry, who organised the day, believes that information provided was crucial in helping the members of this group

‘’The advice given will help people with stroke in the local community by providing practical information on becoming more energy efficient as well as how to have a safer warmer homes.’’

Various members of the local assembly attended the event to show their support to the ‘Big Energy Saving Challenge’ finalists. Following the event, the group will decide on how they will target their initial £7,500 funding from Power NI. They plan to purchase ‘All Season duvets’ which will help the members of their group to stay warm this winter.

Power NI representative Kirsty Pollock believes that the day was a great success ‘’It was great to see so many people from the local community coming along to the information day to support the NICHS group. We had the opportunity to provide them with practical energy saving advice and also talk to them about our free insulation offers which would help them to have warmer homes.’’