Plaudit for Well Aware service

:'Naomi Thompson, from Cancer Focus Northern Ireland, received a prestigious award on behalf of the charity from Lord Kamlesh Patel, vice president of the Royal Society for Public Health
:'Naomi Thompson, from Cancer Focus Northern Ireland, received a prestigious award on behalf of the charity from Lord Kamlesh Patel, vice president of the Royal Society for Public Health

Cancer Focus Northern Ireland recently officially became the first local charity to receive recognition for its excellent achievements at the prestigious Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) annual awards.

A total of 26 organisations from across the UK were presented with awards for their work in health and wellbeing - but Cancer Focus NI is the first Northern Ireland organisation to be honoured in the award’s eight year history.

The charity received recognition for best practice in its work in cancer prevention and care services, particularly the Well Aware service, which brings health checks to older people and raises awareness of the signs and symptoms of the disease. The Well Aware team has visited thousands of residents at sheltered accommodation and community venues all over Northern Ireland.

Dervilia Kernaghan, its project coordinator, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised by the RSPH. As we grow older our risk of cancer increases with around 75 per cent of diagnoses in the over 60s. Because of this, Cancer Focus NI felt it was vitally important to offer health improvement services targeting this age group. Our aim is to empower older people to take control of their own health and to feel confident enough to speak to a doctor if they have any concerns. We’re delighted with the positive response we’ve had since the project started two years ago. It’s obvious we are filling a need among some of the most vulnerable in our society.” Well Aware is a partnership between Cancer Focus NI and Choice Housing and is funded by the Big Lottery Fund. For more information or to arrange a Well Aware visit, email wellaware@cancerfocusni.org or call 028 9068 0743.