The Albert Basin Park Project got a major “shot in the arm” this week when it received the support of local GPs.
Eight local practices have come together to endorse the call for high quality 15-Acre green space on this unique site. In a statement, the medics stressed the importance of the project to the health of the community.
Dr Arnie McDowell said that a proper park in Newry was long overdue: “It’s well established that access to high quality green space leads to reduced levels of obesity and cardiovascular disease, as well as being linked to lower rates of depression and other mental health issues. As medical professionals we are all too aware of the problems created by an unhealthy environment.”
Dr Shirley Forshaw added: “GP practices are currently under enormous pressure – many are describing it as a crisis. Decision-makers should be doing everything they can to alleviate this pressure by supporting healthy local communities. Creating a proper city park would be a major contribution to the wellbeing of Newry people.”
Brian Cleland, chair of Newry 2020, welcomed the GP’s statement, saying: “It’s fantastic to get this endorsement from the medical community. It really drives home just how important this issue is. We’re calling on all our elected representatives to prioritise the health of local people, to join the GPs and dozens of other organisations and seize the only opportunity we’ll have to build a proper park for Newry City.”