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Mayor announces winners of Happy Place Calendar competition


Your Happy Place Winners
Tom Heaney, nwpresspics)

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Sandra Duffy, this week congratulated the winners of an art competition for members of the older community.

The public will now have the chance to enjoy their work which will be showcased in the ‘Your Happy Place 2023’ Calendar.

The Calendar is a joint initiative involving the Western Trust, the Public Health Agency, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and South West Age Partnership.

The calendar is based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing initiative where entrants aged over 50 within the Council area were invited to reflect and capture what a happy place means to them.

The entry could take the form of a photograph of a favourite place within the Council area, or a piece of art which reflected a place of happiness.

The local winners were Declan Devine who shared his happy memories of a happy childhood in a beautiful painting of his family’s old homestead at Doorat, Dunnamanagh from around the mid 1960’s; James Breslin, who captured a beautiful image of a red squirrel resting in its happy place nest box whilst nibbling on some food, highlighting how we can connect with nature; and finally Margaret Rowlandson, whose vibrant image showed a beautiful array of leaves, horse chestnut seeds and conkers reflecting the autumn season.

Mayor Duffy congratulated the winners and praised the role the competition played in celebrating older members of the community.

“The competition offered our older residents an opportunity to become more involved and celebrate the contribution they make to their local communities,” she explained.

“The theme of ‘Your Happy Place’ allowed people to be creative and shine a light on some of the wonderful areas within our council area as well as sharing favourite spaces with many others, both young and old. I was particularly impressed with the winners from our Council area which will now go forward and feature within the 2023 Age Friendly calendar.”

Debbie Hunter, Assistant Manager of Equality and Involvement at the Western Health and Social Care Trust, welcomed the publications, saying:

“The Western Health and Social Service Trust is delighted once again to be working in partnership with the Public Health Agency, who funded this initiative, and local Councils to produce the ‘Age Friendly Calendar 2023’.

“The calendar encourages older people to develop their creativity and talent by using the Take 5 steps – connect, be active, take notice, keep learning and give – to improve their wellbeing. I would like to thank everyone who took part in ‘My Happy Place’ competition and who contributed photographs and artwork for the calendar, I am sure those who receive a copy will enjoy using it throughout the year.”