Belfast Healthy Cities Awards - Closing 12 November 2021

Has your organisation been working towards improving the health and wellbeing of the people of Belfast? Continuing to respond to the COVID-19 Crisis and to help build community recovery from the pandemic?

The World Health Organization (WHO) Belfast Healthy City Awards 2021 will recognise excellence in improving the health and wellbeing of the people of Belfast.

The awards will be made in four categories and are open to the statutory, voluntary, community and private sectors. 

Full terms and conditions and an application pack are available by emailing [email protected] or calling Caroline Scott on 028 9032 8811


Healthy Transport & Active Travel

How we move around the city is changing and reducing the volume of traffic brings huge advantages for us all. The last few years there has seen a significant change in how we travel in our local areas to and from work, school and local shops, bringing with it improvements such as better air quality due to reduced pollution from vehicles. Many cities are making positive choices to develop healthier, safer communities, where urban infrastructure is improved to support a higher quality of life for the growing populations.

This award will shine a light on the important work undertaken across Belfast to help change how we move around our communities and our city, demonstrating the health and wellbeing benefits which come from active travel - walking, cycling, running - and reducing reliance on cars.

Applications for the Healthy Transport category should aim to show how their work has helped promote community active travel, improve the local community for pedestrians, change car use habit or encourage walking, cycling and running to improve physical and mental well-being for the community.


Community Prosperity

The local community has a significant impact on our health and wellbeing. Connected communities bring benefits to local people, and the support organisations and groups in the local area are central to the prosperity.

When COVID-19 impacted on our lives, it was local community groups who stepped up to help alleviate much of the stress and worry of local, vulnerable people. The positive community response, where local groups, sports organisations, charities, businesses and individuals have worked cooperatively to help support their communities, has been one of the most significant outcomes. From food packages for the vulnerable to community wellbeing programmes, and education projects for school kids to art competitions as expressive and therapeutic outlets, this work has helped build community cohesion and build prosperity in the face of adversity.

Shared prosperity increases healthy life expectancy, increases resilience, enhances wellbeing and generates community prosperity within left behind or excluded communities. The Community Prosperity award will celebrate projects which have shown community leadership to build resilience, enhance wellbeing, increase health literacy and ensure that hard to reach sections of the community are supported.


Greening the City

The Climate Crisis is destroying our planet. Protecting the planet is one of the worlds greatest challenges and we all have a role to play locally in protecting and sustaining our natural environment. Green and blue space is an integral part of the infrastructure of Belfast and opportunities now exist to consider how smaller green spaces can be integrated across the city. Careful planning has a key role to play in protecting and promoting health and wellbeing, making urban planners part of the public health community.

This award is designed to recognise projects which have improved the green and blue space in urban areas across the city, from planting programmes to reimagining urban space for people. A demonstration of health, wellbeing and environmental outcomes as a result of these projects is key.


Mental Wellbeing

For too long the importance of mental wellbeing has been overlooked as part of the overall health of our citizens. Much work has been done in recent years to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health, but the impact of lockdown and COVID-19 has shown how many people continue to struggle. Strong community settings can have a positive impact on the mental wellbeing of individuals. From open spaces and clean environments, to community engagement programmes and social interaction - the local area and support network are key to helping many who may struggle with mental ill health. Addressing issues related to mental wellbeing is an essential element of community health.

This category will look for projects which have brought about better mental wellbeing outcomes. We are looking for programmes which have developed physical and social activities that have worked across the community to engage and improve morale and wellbeing, particularly for hard to reach groups such as the elderly, where social isolation can have a disproportional impact, and children and young people.

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