Eight weeks later and the town is a healthier place
Attitudes towards health and wellbeing have improved in Wexford town following last year's Healthy Town programme which ran throughout September and October.
In a follow-up survey carried out by Pfizer, the coordinators of the programme, statistics showed that the events over those two months had a positive impact on the local community.
The survey found that: 63% of people claim to have a positive attitude towards health and wellbeing, compared to 58% of those surveyed before the initiative; 75% of those surveyed now feel they are very or quite knowledgeable about health and wellbeing, compared to 70% pre-campaign.
The perceived importance of health and wellbeing has increased by 5% with 90% now deeming it very or quite important, while 95% of those surveyed expressed an interest in attending future events relating to the Healthy Town programme. Notably, those over 50 (65%) feel more positive about their health and wellbeing now than they did before the Healthy Town initiative (44%).
The Healthy Town campaign, which was supported by Healthy Town ambassador and Wexford hurler Lee Chin, involved a series of free health and wellness related seminars, events and workshops in locations around the town, held over an eight-week period.
During that time, over 400 people attended five core events while hundreds more took advantage of free events and seminars hosted by members of the local community in support of the initiative.
Highlights of the 2018 campaign included a free running workshop with running coach and fitness expert Mary Jennings, as well as a free family-friendly cookery demonstration with celebrity chef, Catherine Fulvio.
Since the programme took place, more than half (53%) of survey respondents feel that overall Wexford Town is becoming healthier over time, while 93% feel that initiatives similar to Healthy Town are good for towns like Wexford.
To celebrate the success of the initiative, Pfizer Ireland is funding 20 one-year gym memberships to Clayton White's Hotel's Club Vitae. These were awarded to members of the local community through a competition on social media, the aim being to encourage those who had taken part in the programme to continue their efforts in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Commenting on the initiative, Mayor of Wexford, Cllr Tony Dempsey said: 'It was a great honour for Wexford town to be chosen as this year's Pfizer Healthy Town and the research results indicate that the programme has had a really positive impact on the local community.
'To see that more people feel positive about their personal health and wellbeing is a fantastic result and all the clubs and organisations who came on board to make the programme a success should be really proud of their efforts. There is greater awareness now of what Wexford Town has to offer from a health and wellbeing perspective, and we hope people continue to make the most of the wealth of facilities that are available to them on their doorstep.'
Paul Reid, Managing Director of Pfizer, thanked the people of Wexford for their participation in the programme, as well as those local clubs and businesses that had come together to support the initiative.
He added: 'On behalf of Pfizer Ireland, we would also like to thank the Wexford town Advisory Panel and the local schools and councillors who played an important role in making the Healthy Town programme to come to life. Wexford town is a great example of a community coming together to help improve overall health and wellbeing in the town, and we hope people continue to do so throughout 2019.'