BREATHE Easy Causeway is celebrating its tenth anniversary of supporting respiratory health in Northern Ireland.
Within the past decade members have raised almost £120,000 to help in the constant battle against lung disease, with almost £6,000 being donated during the past year alone, according to Group Treasurer, Mrs Mary Walls.
Sam Kelly praised the members for their commitment and enterprise, saying: “We believe it is important to help to enhance the medical care and advice given to thousands of people suffering with respiratory illness”.
The British Lung Foundation will support various projects in the local area such as a campaign to reduce young peoples’ exposure to second hand smoke, pulmonary rehabilitation and maintence exercise classes, advice on the use of oxygen and information on managing obstructive sleep apnoea.
Breathe Easy Causeway will be playing its part in national Breathe Easy Week which takes place from June 18-24.
The week aims to raise awareness of the dangers of asbestos and will urge people carrying out DIY in their home to learn about the risks and how to protect themselves.
Breathe Easy Causeway members will be manning an information stand at B&Q, Coleraine, on Wednesday, June 20 11am - 4pm.
The group’s AGM was addressed by Articlave man, Trevor Culbertson, who is organising a five-mile walk on Sunday, June 24, on behalf of Breathe Easy Causeway.
Trevor is urging full support for the family-affair venture which will start at Benone beach at 11am and end with afternoon snacks at Bertha’s Bar, Castlerock.
Mrs Nessie Blair, Development Officer for British Lung Foundation in Northern Ireland, praised Causeway members for their commitment during the year.
Highlighting the success of the Health Fair at the Lodge Hotel, Coleraine, Mrs Blair reported that 40% of those taking lung tests required referral to their GP.
She added: “I was delighted by the success of the recent health fair that was hosted by Breathe Easy Causeway. My congratulations go to the group for organising such a wonderful day.
“Of course it was great that Breathe Easy Kirkcaldy and Clyde Valley made such an effort to join us. I certainly hope the health fair is a reoccurring event”
The new Chairperson of the Causeway Group is Mrs Marie Hegarty, of Ballymoney. She succeeds Sam Kelly, who now takes up the posts of Deputy Chairman and Treasurer.
Other office-bearers appointed were:-Public Relations Officer, Robert Burnett; Newsletter, Christine Archibald; Publications and Hospital Updates, Cheryl Matthews; Publications-Meetings and Events, Annette O’Kane; Pastoral Visits Linda Walsh.
At the close of the meeting members were entertained by Poet-Farmer, Mr Brian Rankin, who has now published three books of poems as part of a fund-raising drive on behalf of needy children in Uganda.