12/04/2013

Lord Mayor 'Walks Off The Blues'

Belfast Lord Mayor Alderman Gavin Robinson has been walking with residents in east Belfast as part of a new scheme to promote wellbeing.

Several hundred people stepped out for 'Walking off the Blues' and made the journey from Holywood Arches to Victoria Park along the Connswater River.

The event was organised to get the community thinking about ways to improve health, while informing residents of the new Connswater Community Greenway, which formed part of the route.

The council is investing £4.2m in the Community Greenway as part of its £150m Investment Programme for the city.

"Walking and keeping active is great for health and wellbeing and there are so many great walks around east Belfast – today`s event highlights just one of them," said the Lord Mayor.

"Belfast is committed to helping people become healthier so it is important we encourage them to take full advantage of the facilities around them, places like the Greenway and Victoria Park.

"Mental and physical health is boosted by physical activities in green spaces – I am delighted to see so many enjoying them today. Today's event highlights the benefits of walking - just 30 minutes five times a week can have a positive impact on an individual`s physical and mental health," added Alderman Robinson.

Although the event was free, walkers were encouraged to make a donation to the East Belfast Community Counselling service; an organisation which provides counselling to adults and young people in the area.

Active Belfast, East Belfast Partnership's Health and Good Relations Project, and the Connswater Community Greenway team organised the event.

Maggie Andrews from East Belfast Partnership said: "It is great to see east Belfast putting its best foot forward and coming together for the wellbeing of the whole community.

"Good health is important for everyone and getting active in your local community is a good way of doing that. It helps you meet your neighbours and get to know your own neighbourhood better.

"I want to thank everyone for taking part and the volunteers for their help in organising it, I am sure everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did," she added.

(IT/H)

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