PARC Study

(Physical Activity and the Rejuvenation of Connswater)

About the PARC Study

The UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health NI led a multidisciplinary team to win a prestigious Medical Research Council award to evaluate the Connswater Community Greenway (CCG) and its impacts on physical activity and the healthy of the local population in East Belfast.

What was unique about our bid to the National Prevention Research Initiative was that it brought together a partnership of at least four government departments (including Department for Social Development, Department for Regional Development, Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, and Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety NI), the Public Health Agency and academics from a range of disciplines to produce a proposal to evaluate the £32M CCG project which will improve the built environment and quality of life in East Belfast.

This natural experiment will contribute significantly to the evidence base and has created much excitement internationally in the public health research community.

To get in touch with the research team email or visit the Contact PARC Study section of this page.

The Research Team

Professor Frank Kee

Professor Frank Kee, Director of the UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health (NI) is the Principal Investigator of the PARC Study. Professor Kee led the successful bid to the UKCRC for a Centre of Excellence in Public Health (NI), one of five centres in the UK. Professor Kee was appointed to the Medical School in 1998. He has been the primary grant holder of the ECTIM Study Extension in Belfast (Etude Cas Temoin de l'Infarctus Myocarde), the Belfast EARS II study (European Atherosclerosis Study) and of the Belfast PRIME Study Extension. Frank Kee

Clare Jess

Debbie Donaldson Mrs Clare Jess is the new clerical officer on the PARC project having started working in the Centre for Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast in August 2013. A law graduate, Clare previously worked for a financial company whilst studying accountancy. Clare is enjoying her new role assisting on the PARC study and is finding the project extremely interesting. Please do not hesitate to contact Clare with any queries you may have.

Dr Mark Tully

Dr Mark Tully is the Study Director on the PARC Study. Mark graduated in Biomedical Science from QUB in 2000. He then went on to complete his PhD looking at the effects of home-based walking programmes on cardiovascular risk factors. Mark also works on a number of projects looking at the effects of the environment on physical activity and using pedometers to help people change their activity level. Mark Tully

Dr Ruth Hunter

Ruth Hunter Dr Ruth Hunter is the Project Manager on the PARC Study. Ruth graduated in Physiotherapy in 2005 and went on to complete her PhD investigating the effects of physical activity for people with low back pain. She started working in the Centre for Public Health in January 2010. She also developed a particular interest in East Belfast during the six years she spent as the physiotherapist with Glentoran Football Club.