Former Northern Ireland international and Derry City legend Felix Healy officially opened a new recreational garden at Lakeview Hospital, Londonderry, which the Western Trust said will help individuals and their carers engage in health-boosting physical activity.
Trevor Millar, Western Trust Director of Adult Mental Health and Disability said: “Lakeview Hospital is an excellent example of the innovative developments for individuals with a learning disability where facilities are provided that incorporate physical activity as a fun way of keeping fit.
“Current data suggests that people with learning disabilities are physically less active than the rest of the population and therefore more prone to obesity and associated health conditions.
“This outdoor activity area will allow health and social care staff to support both individuals and their carers to engage with and promote programmes of physical activity.”
Rosaleen Harkin, Western Trust Assistant Director for Adult Learning Disability said: “We are delighted to welcome Felix Healy, ex Derry City Football legend and ex Northern Ireland International along with Joe Healy, ex Finn Harps player to perform the official opening.
“Joe has been actively involved in fundraising for Lakeview Hospital in the past and we are very appreciative of the support of the local community, our clients, families and staff. This beautiful outdoor space will enhance many aspects of the lives of our patients through exercise, health promotion and social integration and improve their mental and physical health and overall wellbeing.”
Rosaleen added: “The garden is also home to the Arts Care ‘little people’ sculptures which adorned the fencing around Ebrington Square. In response to an invitation from Arts Care to offer a new ‘home’ to the figures, 28 of these ‘little people’ now have pride of place on the perimeter fence within the garden area.
“These sculptures were created to celebrate the Derry City of Culture 2013. Thirteen Arts Care artists and up to 1,500 service users from all five Health and Social Care Trusts created 2013 colourful and imaginative figures. Each figure was inspired by the 365 days of the year 2013 with daily newspapers used to source material to celebrate and inspire the artwork.”