The Planters Tavern was the venue for a breakfast event aimed at raising awareness within the community of a range of health and wellbeing issues, focusing on improving mental wellbeing and addressing isolation.
The popular event was jointly organised by TADA (The Antrim, Down and Armagh Rural Support Network) along with Waringstown Together, a new Community Forum for Waringstown Village. Speakers included, Ulster Supported Employment LTD, PIPs Lurgan, Care in Crisis, One Therapy. Hamill’s Pharmacy carried out BP checks and discussed some of their health issues.
Following a testimonial from local resident Walter Ferris, two MLAs made very passionate speeches about their experience of mental health. Doug Beattie spoke about his experience of trauma in Afghanistan and Jonathan Buckley spoke movingly about how teenagers in the same school he was attending took their own lives and the ripple effect that had with their peers.
Launching ‘ Waringstown Together’ at the event, Chairperson Sandra Ledlie explained the purpose of the new Forum is to ‘promote the welfare and interests of residents in Waringstown and the surrounding area through co-operation with other similar organisations both locally and nationally’.
‘Waringstown Together’ comprises of representation from a range of existing community groups and organisations in the village, including those with interests in Community Development, planning and environment, sport, local churches, Neighbourhood Watch and others.
Looking forward, the Waringstown Together forum is hoping to identify opportunities for working together in organising and promoting community events, as well as giving a shared voice for the village in working with public services and others to address quality of life issues that matter to the community.
TADA have been working for rural dwellers for the past twenty years. They have lobbied for better services to improve the wellbeing of rural residents and have implemented many programmes that have levered thousands of pounds into the rural economy.
The recent programme informing people on mental health issues is striking the right chord with its members. Waringstown Together are a comprehensive group of most if not all the village groups. They meet every month and have set a number targets to be achieved for 2017 and to build on their success in the coming years.