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ManAlive Project Launched

  • 25-02-2011
Gerry McElwee, Head of Cancer Prevention, UCF, Jarlath Burns, Sports Commentator, GAA, Michelle Cherry, Deputy Head of Programmes, Big Lottery Fund and Jim Wells MLA South Down and Chair of the Health Committee
Men will now be able to access body composition and weight management; stop smoking; care in the sun and early detection advice plus free health checks such as; cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose testing; as well as interactive health promotion sessions and self development programmes to help improve men’s health. At the launch UCF unveiled the ManAlive vehicle ‘The Man Van’– a mobile unit which can accommodate one-to-one health awareness sessions and health checks for men on their doorstep.  Staffed by a UCF Health Promotion Nurse and Senior Cancer Prevention Staff the vehicle will aid early detection, provide on-the-spot cancer prevention information and referral and sign posting opportunities to reduce men’s risk of cancer and to improve their overall health. Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service is supporting this project and will also provide secure parking for the vehicle overnight at Newry Fire Station throughout the 3 year period of the project.  ¹Research carried out by UCF, in partnership with the University of Ulster highlighted men as a ‘high risk’ group when it comes to cancer and cancer prevention.  Key findings showed that men wanted bite sized information provided in convenient, local venues. Findings from this research are a cornerstone of UCF’s ManAlive project. Roisin Foster, Chief Executive, UCF said, “Traditionally men are reluctant to talk about health issues or seek professional help.  As a result if they are diagnosed with cancer, it may to be at a more advanced stage leading to fewer treatment options, a poorer outcome and a higher death rate.  ²Research shows significant inequalities between male and female life expectancy in Southern Trust area.  ³Alarmingly in the Newry and Mourne area cancer incidence is 6% higher and the death rate 8% higher than the Northern Ireland average.  Recognised as an area of high deprivation, Newry and Mourne and South Armagh, have a large rural population and a tradition of low access and use of health and wellbeing services by men.  The ManAlive project aims to target these hard to reach groups to help men reduce their risk of the disease. “However, the good news is that two-thirds of cancers could be prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle and it’s never too late for men to start incorporating simple but effective cancer prevention measures into their daily life.  Adopting a healthy diet, increasing physical activity, moderating alcohol consumption, stopping smoking and taking care in the sun are all positive measures that can dramatically reduce your chances of developing cancer. Furthermore, there are other benefits as a healthy lifestyle can also help reduce your risk of other illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and osteoarthritis. “Many cancers such as bowel, skin, prostate and testicular cancer can be treated successfully if diagnosed in the early stages.   But men need to be aware of the warning signs and symptoms and the need to seek medical advice at an early stage.  “The ManAlive project provides a practical approach to delivering information to men in their own community and at a time which is convenient for them.  It also emphasises positive steps men can take to improve their physical and mental health through self development sessions and innovative life coaching approaches to boost self esteem and improve their overall sense of wellbeing. “Special thanks to Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service for hosting the launch of the ManAlive Project and for facilitating the secure parking of ‘The Man Van’ at Newry Fire Station throughout the 3 year period of the project.” UCF’s ManAlive project is funded with £317,000 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme.  It is also supported and facilitated by community, voluntary and statutory partners in the Southern Trust area. Frank Hewitt, Big Lottery Fund NI Chair, said: “The Reaching Communities programme is a very important part of our work in NI, ensuring that lottery cash reaches strong projects led by the voluntary and community sector that have a real and lasting impact on people lives.   “Ulster Cancer Foundation’s ManAlive project is providing much needed health advice, information and support for men in the Southern Trust area.” Peter Craig, Chief Fire Officer, NI Fire & Rescue Service said: “NIFRS is happy to support the Man Alive project because as an employer we know the importance of having a fit and healthy workforce and I will be encouraging all our male personnel to make use of this excellent service over the coming months.”  The ManAlive project will be out and about attending your local sports club, community/church group, farmers market or village fair.  It is free of charge and is available during the day, at evening’s and weekends.  For further information or to book the ManAlive project for your club or group click on www.manalive.co or email: sandragordon@ulstercancer.org References ¹http://www.ulstercancer.org/publication_resources/research/Full%20Report%202007.pdf  ) ²http://www.southernifh.com/Uploads/Microsoft%20Word%20%20Mens%20Health%20Report%20June%20.pdf    ³ http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/FileStore/PDF/Survival/Filetoupload,81422,en.pdf 

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