An anti-smoking healthy heart-themed mural has been unveiled at Saints Boxing Club in Twinbrook.
The heart-inspired mural has been designed to encourage the people of Belfast to kick their smoking habit and keep their hearts healthy. The ‘heart-hitting’ mural has been developed and painted by a group of young teenagers and local artists who have been involved in the Saints Saving Hearts project.
The project focuses on encouraging young people and their families to get heart healthy by educating them on the dangers of smoking and highlighting the damage caused to their hearts. The project is being run by Saints Youth Centre in Belfast, thanks to a Heart Research UK and Subway Healthy Heart grant of £10,000.
Fifteen youngsters, aged 11-18, have taken a total of 12 weeks to complete the thought-provoking mural. They hope the dramatic imagery of the bright, healthy, happy heart transforming into a dark and diseased organ will bring home the reality of what smoking can do.
“The kids have worked incredibly hard to create a mural that really brings home the importance of a healthy, smoke-free heart,” said Cherith McClay, Youth Worker at Saints Youth Centre. “I am really proud of the work that the Saint’s Youth Centre have done and can’t wait for the world to see our fantastic, hard- hitting mural.”
Barbara Harpham, National Director at Heart Research UK, said the mural will make its mark.
“We are delighted to see that the youngsters of Belfast are being encouraged to quit smoking, as heart-healthy lifestyle is vital in reducing the risk of heart disease,” she said. “The mural definitely will make a lasting impression. Let’s hope it sticks in the minds of smokers when they go to buy their next packet of cigarettes.”