Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum is a community led health improvement project that brings together many groups and agencies to enhance the health and well being of the people in Derry/Londonderry.
They are using the Big Lottery Fund 10th Birthday grant of £10,000 to offer health and well-being programmes to people with serious illnesses or disabilities, including fitness and healthy eating classes.
Kealan O’Kane in his own words was very unfit and lived an unhealthy lifestyle. Through the work of the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum, Kealan lost six stone. He trains about three times a week and still enjoys going out the occasional weekend. Kealan has now completed many 5k races, three half marathons and twice completed the Derry marathon, running it in 4 hours 32 mins. He has now gained qualifications to help other people just like him. He has successfully passed courses in spin, kettle bells, circuits, running coach with Athletics NI, Level 2 fitness instructor, Level 3 personal trainer and Level 3 Exercise Referral.
Kealan is now a personal trainer and volunteers with the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum. Kealan said: “I now love the fact that I volunteer on the men’s health programme because I can relate to those men because I was once in their shoes. It just goes to show if you really wanted to lose weight you can dedicate yourself and put your mind to it.”
The Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum created this video diary to demonstrate the impact this funding has had on local people. Marie, Karen and Reyna are from the Bogside area and have completed the ‘New You’ Bootcamp over the summer of 2015. All girls have lost weight and have now signed up for more classes with BBHF to continue their journey to a healthier lifestyle. Martin attends the Health Forum’s casual sessions at the fitness suite in the Gasyard Centre. Martin also attends the Health Forum’s ‘Born to Run’ running club. Marie and Martin have recently climbed Mount Errigal in Donegal to fundraise for the Health Forum’s programmes.