Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, was in Bray recently to visit projects which have been supported by Healthy Ireland funding and to meet the people involved on the ground.
The Minister was welcomed by the Bray Area Partnership’s (BAP) CEO Peter Brennan; Bray Municipal District Cathaoirleach, Cllr Aoife Flynn Kennedy, and staff from both the Wicklow Sports & Recreation Partnership and BAP who were keen to share the successes of some exciting local projects that have been made possible with Healthy Ireland funding.
Wicklow Sports and Recreation Partnership showcased their three actions under the Healthy Ireland Fund Round 3: Healthy Towns, Physical Activity for All and the Teenage Urban Outdoor Recreation Initiative which demonstrated the aim to increase physical activity among specific groups in Wicklow.
The Minister learned about an initiative to support younger people in East County Wicklow who were pregnant or were new parents. The Partnership’s SPECS team worked with local agencies and young mothers to create a booklet for young Mams and Dads, ‘Looking after Your Mental Health and Wellbeing During Pregnancy and Beyond’, with lots of relevant information and listings of support services available to them in the area.
Another of the Partnership’s Healthy Ireland and SICAP-funded projects highlighted was a programme of Wellbeing Workshops held in local DEIS primary schools. The children taking part are enjoying the fun activities around mindfulness, gratitude and positive intentions, smoothies and healthy treats, and putting their positive affirmations on the Gratitude Tree.
In the current challenging times, the Minister was interested to learn more about how Healthy Ireland and Sláintecare funding has supported Bray Area Partnership’s ASPIRE Social Prescribing service to work with people experiencing social isolation and low wellbeing by connecting them up with supports and activities in their local community.
The Minister’s second visit was to St Kieran’s Special School to meet parents and children involved in a healthy eating project run by Bray Area Partnership’s SPECS service. Healthy Ireland funding was used to build a new state-of-the-art kitchen, providing a space for parents and children to come together and learn more about healthy eating and cooking, and to provide cookery classes. The participants went on to create and publish their own cookbook with all proceeds from its sales going to the Temple Street Foundation.
Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Shay Cullen, remarked: “The huge benefit of the Healthy Ireland Funding in supporting local organisations in delivering actions that improve health and well-being”.
Cllr Aoife Flynn Kennedy, Cathaoirleach of Bray Municipal District, congratulated all action partners in continuing to develop happier and healthier communities in Wicklow despite the recent challenges and uncertainties of the last eighteen months.
Wicklow County Council’s Chief Executive, Mr Frank Curran, thanked Healthy Ireland for their continued “investment in a Healthy Wicklow – where everyone can enjoy physical and mental health and wellbeing to their full potential”.
Healthy Ireland Coordinator for Wicklow County Council, Lorraine Dunne, commented that “Healthy Wicklow is about taking steps towards making Wicklow a healthier and prosperous County and this involves a partnership approach to addressing the determinants of health and supporting healthy lifestyles”.