Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Caroline Conroy launched the Ballymun Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme at a community event in the Axis, Ballymun on Friday last, December 2.
This is a partnership of Dublin City Council with the Health Service Executive and Community-led organisations to address health inequalities and improve local health and wellbeing in Ballymun.
Speaking at the event the Lord Mayor of Dublin Caroline Conroy said, “The challenge of addressing health inequalities in our communities requires not only interventions to target particular health risks, but also a broad focus on addressing the wider determinants of health.”
“To make real and lasting change we need to work together to create communities where people can thrive, putting in place the right building blocks for health, stable jobs, good pay, quality housing, good education and accessible amenities that enhance and improve our built environment.”
The programme is being delivered locally in Ballymun by Dublin City Council working in partnership with the HSE Health and Wellbeing services, local Primary Care Network services, the Northside and Northwest Area Partnerships and local community groups including Young Ballymun and the Ballymun Family Resource Centre.
“We will all work together to ensure that our communities in greatest need are supported to live longer healthier lives.”
She stated the €250,000 to support key Dublin City Council projects will positively impact on the health and wellbeing of those who live within the Ballymun area.
“For example, working closely with our Ballymun Area Manager Jackie O’Reilly and Stephen Groome of our Parks and Biodiversity Department, funds will be used to support improvements to Balcurris and Coultry Park.
“This includes upgrading the playground area and pathways in Balcurris to provide better access and constructing a new Reflective Garden to support community healthy place making and wellbeing. We are also looking to provide new outdoor gym equipment in Balcurris and Coultry parks in 2023.”
“These are exciting times for the community in Ballymun and I look forward to seeing more of the great progress that has already been made,” she concluded.
Patricia Tallon, Dublin City’s Local Development Officer for Ballymun Healthy Communities Programme said, “We are excited to be working with existing community partners with reach and engagement in the Ballymun community. For example, the Ballymun Fun Run Committee are organising a Santa Dash and two fun runs to take place in Trinity Comprehensive on Friday, December 9. Over 1,000 students have registered for this seasonal health and wellbeing initiative.
“We are supporting the Ballymun Network for Assisting Children and Young People who are building a ‘trauma-informed’ Ballymun to better understand and work with individuals impacted by trauma and living with the consequences. We are also supporting the Play Therapy Project being driven by the Primary Principals Network, Young Ballymun and Ballymun Family Resource Centre. Together we are working collaboratively to better mobilise available resources to address local needs.”
The Dublin City Healthy Communities Programme collaborates with key frontline HSE and Primary Care services delivering health and wellbeing programmes to support improved mental and physical health such as stop smoking services, healthy eating groups, parenting, mental health and parenting.
Speaking at the launch, Dr David Gibney, the GP lead for the Ballymun Community Healthcare Network, commented, “I’ve already seen the benefits of the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme to my patients. I regularly refer patients to the smoking cessation and social prescribing services.”
Mellany McLoone, HSE Chief Officer of Community Healthcare Organisation Dublin North City & County, said, “This is Sláintecare Healthy Communities in action, working in partnership with the local community to address health inequalities, so people in Ballymun have improved access within their community to evidence-based and practical supports. Interventions like QUIT smoking services, supports to families such as parenting programmes, cooking and nutrition courses are already benefitting this community.”