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RATHFRILAND student Iain McDowell has got his journalism career off to a flying start with a prize-winning piece of reporting.

Vanessa Elder, NICHS with Michael Fisher, vice-chairman of the Belfast NUJ branch, present a cheque to Iain McDowell, the winner of this year's Paul Robinson bursary. (Photo by Kevin Cooper/Photoline).

Vanessa Elder, NICHS with Michael Fisher, vice-chairman of the Belfast NUJ branch, present a cheque to Iain McDowell, the winner of this year’s Paul Robinson bursary. (Photo by Kevin Cooper/Photoline).

Iain, who studies at Belfast Metropolitan College, has scooped the 2013 Paul Robinson Bursary, set up by the National Union of Journalists and the BBC in association with Northern Ireland Chest Heart & Stroke. The bursary – in memory of BBC producer and NUJ member Paul Robinson, who died of heart-related problems in 2009, aims to increase people’s awareness of health related issues.

Iain received a cheque for £1,000 and two weeks of work experience at the BBC for his radio package “Battling Stress: Letitia’s Story”, in which Citybeat journalist and former UTV reporter Letitia Fitzpatrick talks about her struggle with stress.

The competition was judged by Michael and BBC journalist David Lynas.

 

Chest Heart and Stroke Statistics for Northern Ireland

*    45% of all deaths in Northern Ireland are caused by chest, heart or stroke illness

*         More than 6000 people die each year from a chest, heart or stroke illness – that 17 every day, killing more people per day than cancer.

*    193 woman under the age of 75 die from heart disease, a bigger killer than breast cancer. 

*     Each year approximately 4,000 people suffer a strok

*    In 2002, deaths from respiratory disease accounted for 13% of all deaths in Northern Ireland. Deaths from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) represented almost 30% of all respiratory death

*   Respiratory disease is the most commonly reported long-term illness in children and the third most commonly reported in adults, after musculoskeletal disorders and heart and circulatory disorders.

*   Smoking causes over 2300 deaths per year in Northern Ireland and robs 10 -15 years of healthy life