Belfast Telegraph

Health checks good for a laugh

North Belfast is to mix men’s health and comedy in an annual cross-community event with a twist this week.

On Monday (November 22), Shankill Sure Start, in partnership with Ardoyne/Shankill Health Partnership and Belfast City Council will host a men’s health night at the Shankill Leisure Centre from 6.30pm to 9pm.

This is an annual event and over the years has gained a reputation for being a “great night out”.

This year, however, the project will be featuring something |entirely different.

As well as focusing on health issues, Shankill Sure Start wants to use the opportunity to promote and celebrate fatherhood — and will be holding a comedy night.

Local stand-up talent will include YouTube sensation Colin Geddis (Barry ‘the Blender’ Henderson), Shane Todd and Lurgan funny man Micky Bartlett.

Men will also get their chance to have their five minutes of fame taking up the ‘Joke Box Challenge’.

The ‘Joke Box Jury’ will decide the funniest joke for the best prize.

Music will be by Dee Hanna, David McAleer and Gary Maxwell.

On the health side of things there will be a number of services or treatments on offer for men to avail of, including free blood pressure, blood sugars, and cholesterol checks; free haircuts and Turkish shaves; free complementary therapies such as hot stones, Indian head massage, reflexology and acupuncture; free gym introduction as well as an introduction to Age Progression Technology.

Irene Cooke, project co-ordinator at Shankill Sure Start, said she |expected the event to be a big success.

“This has been running now for the past five years. It started off just once a year — now it’s twice a year.

“It's the perfect opportunity for men to avail of the alternative therapies on offer.

“We have found that men are different to women in that they are more reluctant to see a doctor about health problems.

“With this event, we have found men coming back every year — and really enjoying it.”

A spokesperson for Belfast City Council, explained: “We work in active partnership with a range of |community groups to improve the health and well-being of our |residents in the greater Shankill area and we are delighted to be supporting this annual event.

“Our facilities in Shankill Leisure Centre have also been revamped, such as the recently refurbished Sports Hall so we can offer even more services to benefit all the users of the centre.”

For further information |contact Hannah or Stuart on 028 9087 8843 or 90874 000.

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