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Defibrillator support for Bogside and Brandywell Cyclists courtesy of Power NI

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A £1000 Brighter Communities grant from Power NI has enabled a ‘Saturday Cycle’ group run by Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum to purchase a bespoke ‘rescue rucksack’ defibrillator.

The weekly cycle sessions attract local participants of all ages who join together for both exercise and a social get-together to build up friendships and improve their personal physical and mental wellbeing. 

BBHF office and finance manager, Majella Quigley says, “Our cycling sessions cater for all abilities and participants and are led by two facilitators at each outing. We wanted to secure a defibrillator which could be carried by a leader on his or her back during their cycle journeys. 

“Hopefully we will never have to use it, but if we do, our new portable defibrillator will be a lifeline and our trained facilitators will be on hand to administer the critical first response and potentially save a life. 

“Our cycle routes change from time to time, however our enthusiastic members do like to take the Foyle Embankment route and often stop off for a short coffee break. It provides everyone with the opportunity to engage and socialise in a safe and comfortable environment where casual chat and socialising may just be what some of the participants need in their lives, as well as the exercise. Whilst many people do bring their own bikes we can also offer a range of bikes and safety equipment should people not have their own. 

“One of our members highlighted what our Saturday cycles means to them, saying, ‘I have really enjoyed the group trips for several reasons; it got me out of my flat, I loved meeting new people and the bike ride was invigorating and fun. It felt great to be outside and getting exercise again.’ 

“The Forum would very much like to thank Power NI for awarding us this funding grant. Purchasing a defibrillator is something we could not have afforded ourselves and we are truly grateful to Power NI’s Brighter Communities programme.” 

Congratulating Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum on their Brighter Communities award, Ashleigh O’Neill from Power NI said, “The Forum’s cycling initiative is a fantastic community support programme, helping people to ‘mind’ both their head and their bodies. It will be comforting for group members to know that they have a portable defibrillator close at hand should it ever be needed in an emergency.”

The Bogside & Brandywell Health Forum offers a holistic approach to health and wellbeing in the community, schools and in workplaces. It aims to support and help local people of all ages to live a healthy lifestyle and connect with each other as well as providing an extensive range of programmes focussing on physical and mental health, smoking and nutrition. 

Power NI first introduced the Brighter Communities initiative back in April 2018. Since then it has supported a huge range of bespoke groups and clubs from wheelchair basketball, beekeepers, vintage cyclists and young cheerleaders to street soccer, dragon racers, Early Years, environmental and stroke recovery groups.

For more information on visit Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum

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