BBC NI Radio presenter Alan Simpson urges Northern Ireland to put their best foot forward to beat heart disease

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Renowned radio presenter and personality, Alan Simpson has teamed up with British Heart Foundation (BHF) Northern Ireland and Coleraine Borough Council to call on the local people to step out to help their heart charity raise vital funds in support of their Mending Broken Hearts Appeal by registering to take part in our first Heart Walk event.

Alan is asking the local people to put their best foot forward and sign up to a new Heart Walk in Coleraine, taking place on Sunday 24 March, to raise vital funds for BHF Northern Ireland.

He has joined forces with Coleraine Heart Town to encourage locals, regardless of age and fitness ability, to register for the Heart Walk now. The 2.5 mile walk starts at Christie Park at 2.30pm on Sunday 24 March and walkers can follow the walk along the banks of the River Bann, spotting local wildlife as they walk to Somerset Park and at the same time they are helping raise money to find a cure for heart failure.

Alan will himself be participating in the Coleraine Heart Walk on Sunday 24 March 2013, to raise vital funds for BHF Northern Ireland.

Alan said: “I am proud to be supporting the Heart Walk series of events for British Heart Foundation (BHF) Northern Ireland. Nearly five years ago, I had a heart attack. It came as such a shock when the doctor told me what was happening. I thought I had a severe toothache not exactly the symptoms you would normally connect with a heart attack. There was no way I was having a heart attack.

“I’m supporting the charity because it is so important to keep raising awareness about heart disease and the signs and symptoms of a heart attack because the earlier people call for help the greater the chance of making a full recovery.

“I would encourage local people to register for BHF Northern Ireland’s Heart Walk. I know that walking is a great way to help keep your heart healthy and so I am looking forward to a fun-filled day, all in the name of a great cause.”

As a BHF Northern Ireland Heart Town, Coleraine is one of nine towns chosen by your heart charity across the UK to host a Heart Walk to raise money for its Mending Broken Hearts Appeal – an ambitious programme which aims to raise vital funds to find a cure for heart failure, bringing hope to millions worldwide.

Gary Wilson, Fundraising Volunteer Manager for BHF Northern Ireland, said: “Over 23,000 people in Northern Ireland are currently living with heart failure. If people across the country get together, sign up to do a Heart Walk and raise money through sponsorship they’ll help us to give hope to people living with heart failure and their families.

“As a BHF Northern Ireland Heart Town the local community has been fantastic at supporting our fundraising activity, so I hope they get behind this activity and put their hearts and trainer soles into helping us beat heart disease, for good.”

Mayor of Coleraine, Councillor Sam Cole said: “Alan has been a great support to the Charity and Council has developed this partnership with BHF Northern Ireland to support our residents in improving their health and well-being. Coleraine Heart Town is continuing to build on what took place during Heart Month in February and we hope to both support people living with heart failure, while helping the charity to raise valuable funds to continue their Mending Broken Hearts Appeal.

“This Heart Walk will enable people of all ages to do a small circuit of exercise, as every little helps and I congratulate council staff on what they have achieved by ensuring this location is one of three official heart walks in the country. I encourage everyone to give it a go.”

Registration for the event is now open and is free to sign-up, with pre-registered participants receiving a goodie bag.

To register or to find out more about the event visit