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Hope blossoms as Council unveil tributes to NHS and keyworker heroes

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BT Coleraine

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Parks and Open Spaces team have been putting the final touches to a trio of dazzling floral displays in Ballymena, Larne and Carrickfergus to honour the dedication of our NHS and keyworker heroes.

The blossoming beds were planted on roundabouts in the towns as a message of thanks and appreciation to health and social care staff, as well as all keyworkers, who have been on the frontline helping others during the Coronavirus pandemic.

With annual horticultural competition such as Ulster in Bloom and the UK-wide Britain in Bloom on hold due to the current public health crisis, it is hoped the Council’s colourful displays will bring colour and cheer to our communities.

Gardens and green spaces have long been associated with good health and wellbeing.

The physical activity can help keep you fit and healthy, while research shows gardening can also reduce stress, depression and anxiety, and increase relaxation and cognitive function.

This Mental Health Awareness Week, Council is delighted to unveil the new NHS Flower Beds and look forward to hearing how our citizens are enjoying the bursts of colour on their journeys around the towns.

Councillor Gregg McKeen, who proposed this initiative, said:

“The new flower beds are a welcome gesture of gratitude to all those in the NHS who are saving lives and keeping us all safe and well during these difficult times, and to every single keyworker making a difference to others.

“Our NHS has been a national treasure throughout its existence, but the efforts of the nurses, doctors, auxiliary and support staff from the very beginning of the Coronavirus crisis has been nothing short of extraordinary.”

Alderman Billy Ashe MBE added: “To see the heroes of our NHS and all the keyworkers honoured in this way by the Council is heartening and I would particularly like to congratulate the Council staff who have worked hard to get these floral displays in place.

“The displays are a fitting tribute to those who have shown true courage and commitment to saving lives and helping their community during what has been an unprecedented crisis.”

Alderman Audrey Wales MBE also praised the efforts of the Parks and Open Spaces team in completing the work.

“Well done to all those involved in creating the floral tributes in each of our borough’s three main towns.

“I know so many people of all ages have been keen to express their gratitude for our NHS and our keyworkers during this pandemic, and this is a simple but effective way of showing how much we appreciate all they do to keep us safe and healthy.”

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