Dublin organisations awarded Vhi Health & Wellbeing Fund grants

Merchants Quay Ireland, Abbey Theatre & The Cavan Centre Receive Funding to deliver projects focused on strengthening resilience and managing anxiety in young people

by Alison O'Hanlon
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VHIHealth And Wellbeing Fund

Vhi and the Irish Youth Foundation (IYF) have announced details of projects awarded grants through the Vhi Health and Wellbeing Fund. 

Among the thirteen successful organisations three are Dublin based. Merchants Quay Ireland, Abbey Theatre and The Cavan Centre all received funding to deliver their projects which are all uniquely focused on delivering projects for young people. 

Now in its third year, the Vhi Health and Wellbeing Fund, supports projects that aim to strengthen resilience in young people and help them manage anxiety. 

Winning projects included a range of creative ideas. In Dublin BeLonG To and the Abbey Theatre received funding to run a series of facilitated sessions plan to create and develop an original play to be performed onstage in the Peacock Theatre. Merchants Quay Ireland received funding to channel into their Young Persons Programme which is specifically designed for clients aged 18-25, to offer bespoke case work leading pathways to appropriate accommodation, drug treatment and onward journeys to education, training and employment.

The third successful Dublin based organisation, The Cavan Centre, received funding to develop a project in relation to mental health and anxiety that will focus on building coping skills and further developing skills for young people living in the North East Inner City of Dublin area. Through this initiative young people will participate in a 2 day 2 night residential programme using various tools such as: outdoor education, experiential learning, nutrition, strength and conditioning classes, and mental health awareness workshops.

In addition to the funding, Vhi introduced a new element this year through the creation and delivery of a bespoke Trauma Informed Care & Wellness programme. The programme was made available to all of the successful youth groups, with 28 youth leaders participating in the sessions.

The Trauma Informed Care & Wellness programme included a series of trauma-based training sessions for youth leaders led by Vhi Clinical Psychologists and Health Coaches. This training was designed to instil a trauma-informed care approach among youth workers dealing with children and young people who have undergone traumatic experiences and to empower youth workers with the necessary skills and mindset needed to support young people managing trauma. In addition, Vhi Health Coaches provided youth leaders with tips and strategies to support their own mental health and wellbeing.

 Anne O’Connor, Managing Director, Vhi Health and Wellbeingsaid “We are delighted that this year another thirteen innovative projects, three of which were Dublin based, are benefitting from our Health & Wellbeing Fund, instilling a health and wellbeing mindset into the young people they work with. 

In addition, we were really pleased to introduce a bespoke Trauma Informed Care & Wellness programme for youth workers. The aim of this programme is to equip the youth workers with the necessary skills in mental health and wellbeing to support both the young people they work with and their own personal wellbeing and resilience. Clinical Psychologists and Health Coaches from Vhi delivered a series of guided sessions to youth leaders designed to improve skills in physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing to pass on to young people in their projects and to their peers.  

The uptake and reaction to the programme has been very positive and demonstrates how important access to this type of training is. We had 28 youth leaders participate in the programme this year and I hope that’s a number we can grow in the future.”

Lucy Masterson, CEO, Irish Youth Foundation, added, “We were delighted to partner with Vhi again this year on the delivery of the Vhi Health and Wellbeing Fund. Now in its third year the funding provided by Vhi remains critical to supporting the health and wellbeing of the next generation. This year we were particularly excited by the addition of the skills-based training. While funding is essential when it comes alongside focused training the benefits are immeasurable. I know that the participants have gained so much from these sessions and will continue to introduce these tactics into their daily interactions with the young people they’re working with.”

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