Eligible clients encouraged to seek referrals to the PARS programme

19th February 2021

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, in partnership with the Public Health Agency (PHA) are encouraging eligible clients who meet the inclusion criteria to seek a referral to the Physical Activity Referral Scheme (PARS) which is delivered across the District area.  Under normal circumstances the programme is delivered at Council leisure centres and when restrictions lift this will begin again however current delivery is live virtual/online sessions supported by professional staff.

PARS is a free 12-week programme which is facilitated by the Public Health Agency and delivered by fully qualified staff to help clients reach their programme aims and objectives.

Speaking about the programme, the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Diana Armstrong said;

“One of the key themes of the Fermanagh and Omagh Community Plan and indeed the Council’s Corporate Plan is to look after the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of all the people of the district. Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is committed to continue work with key stakeholders such as the Public Health Agency to increase exercise participation amongst residents across the district. Research has demonstrated that taking exercise has a positive impact not only on your physical but also your mental health and wellbeing which is particularly important at this time. Participation in the PARS programme can currently be undertaken online from the comfort of your own home making access even easier and I would encourage anyone who has not yet taken part in the PARS programme and who meets the inclusion criteria to contact their GP or health professional to discuss their application to participate in the programme”.

To participate on the programme, clients should be referred to PARS by a relevant health professional or their GP and meet the inclusion criteria;

Clients must be aged 19 years or over and inactive, i.e. not currently meeting the physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week and motivated to change. In addition, participants must be overweight or obese and have one or more of the following conditions;

– Hypertension;

– Hyperlipidaemia;

– Impaired glucose levels or diabetes;

– Family history of heart disease;

– Asthmas;

– Bronchitis or COPD;

– or mild to moderate mental health conditions.

Colette Brolly, the PHA’s lead on physical activity said;

It’s important to be physically active now more than ever and, combined with eating healthily, this can help us age well and feel good. Regular physical activity will help keep the heart and lungs working efficiently, maintain a healthy weight, keep muscles and bones strong, and help reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions including some cancers and Type 2 diabetes. Being more physically active can also help to reduce anxiety and stress.”

For further information regarding PARS please contact Chris Elliott by telephone on 0300 303 1777, (all calls charged at local rate), textphone on 028 8225 6216, by email at chris.elliott@fermanaghomagh.com or visit the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council website at www.fermanaghomagh.com