THE local support group of the British Lung Foundation, Breathe Easy Causeway, recently awarded a Breath of Fresh Air Award to local pharmacists, Patrick Kennedy and Julie Ritchie.
Julie Ritchie was instrumental in delivering the British Lung Foundation Northern Ireland’s six week programme for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
There is a high rate of COPD in Northern Ireland and although it cannot be cured, symptoms can be managed. The recent six week programme empowered those living with COPD to regain control by self-managing their condition and improving their quality of life.
Patrick Kennedy has also been an invaluable support to Breathe Easy Causeway. He promotes the group to the local community and is always sure to highlight the benefits of participation.
In the past two years, Patrick and his staff have hosted the six week COPD programme in his pharmacy premises.
He has attended Breathe Easy meetings and awareness days on several occasions, to raise awareness amongst Breathe Easy members of what help is available to them in the pharmacy, such as smoking cessation, weight management, peak flow, blood pressure and cholesterol monitoring.
Breathe Easy members with multiple health issues were particularly interested in the Mr Kennedy’s pharmacy provision of weekly medication packs.
Although most members of Breathe Easy Causeway live outwith Mr Kennedy’s locality, he continues to show a deep interest what support he can offer the group.
British Lung Foundation Development Officer, Nessie Blair, said: “I’m delighted that Patrick Kennedy and Julie Ritchie have been awarded with a Breath of Fresh Air Award.
“Breathe Easy Causeway wanted to nominate both of them due to their unending service and support to the community and in particular, to Breathe Easy Causeway. They’ve really gone above and beyond at every opportunity. Everything they’ve done, has been greatly appreciated. We look forward to working with them again in future.”
Head of the British Lung Foundation Scotland & Northern Ireland, Dr James Cant, said:
“Congratulations to Patrick and Julie on their award. This is testament to the exceptional care and commitment they have shown to Breathe Easy Causeway, as well as their unfailing dedication to improving respiratory health in Northern Ireland.
“At the British Lung Foundation we offer a range of help and advice to anyone with a respiratory condition, but it’s the support of people in the community like Patrick Kennedy, Julie Ritchie and the members of Breathe Easy Causeway, that makes all the difference.”