Distance Aware campaign
The ‘Distance Aware’ social distancing campaign recently launched by the Department of Health is being promoted widely in over 500 community pharmacies through the ‘Living Well’ service.
Living Well is a programme that provides information and advice to pharmacy customers on public health issues. It is delivered in partnership with the Public Health Agency (PHA), the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) and Community Pharmacy NI (CPNI).
The Distance Aware campaign uses a consistent and instantly recognisable symbol, the Distance Aware Shield, to help remind people to maintain social distance. Organisations and individuals can support the campaign by wearing a badge or displaying a poster with the Distance Aware Shield.
The badges are available in community pharmacies and can be worn by anyone to prompt others to maintain distance.
Olive MacLeod, Chief Executive at the PHA, said: “Community pharmacies are embedded in local communities and continue to play a key role in the fight against COVID-19. We welcome their support in promoting the social distancing message and distributing the Distance Aware badges to members of the public, especially to those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
“We are making great strides with our vaccination programme, but it remains as important as ever that we all follow the public health advice – this includes washing our hands, wearing a face covering and keeping our distance.”
Vincent Harkin from Harkin Pharmacy Maghera said: “There has been a great appetite for the free Distance Aware badges, particularly from our older and more vulnerable customers. As more people become aware of the badge and its meaning, the more effective it will be for those who are wearing it, helping them to feel safer and less anxious when they are out and about.”
Gerard Greene, Chief Executive of CPNI, said: “Community pharmacy is delighted to support the promotion of this campaign, including the distribution of the Distance Aware badges. Community pharmacies are at the heart of communities, in convenient locations for people to access healthcare, with local community pharmacy teams recognised as trusted advisors for health and wellbeing concerns.”