Showcase event to celebrate health and wellbeing projects within the local community.

Group photo

Wednesday 28 November the Public Health Agency (PHA) held a celebratory event in Palace Stables, Armagh, showcasing projects which were successful in the ‘Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing’ Small Grants programme.

The aim of the programme was to provide the community and voluntary sector with the opportunity to support health improvement initiatives at a local level. The projects must focus on using one or more of the Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing approach:  Connect; Keep Learning; Be Active; Take Notice; Give.

The initiatives showcased at the event varied in content, from self-help and life skills programmes, to supporting those in need or socially isolated, to giving groups the opportunity to develop and build their capacity to help others.

The PHA has worked collaboratively with CLEAR, the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and the councils of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Newry, Mourne and Down and Mid Ulster to support communities in their applications for funding and delivery of Take 5 programme. The types of projects funded were excellent examples of effective community planning by promoting positive mental and emotional wellbeing in our communities through successful multiagency working.

Colette Rogers, the PHA’s Head of Health and Social Wellbeing (Southern Area) said: “Over the past number of years, the Public Health Agency has secured funding for small grants schemes to address the themes of mental health and emotional wellbeing, suicide prevention and self-harm in the Southern area. The celebratory event provided a platform for organisations who participated in the small grants programme in the past two years, 2017/19, to demonstrate how they have been contributing to improving the health and wellbeing of their communities through locally based initiatives.”

Examples of some of the projects celebrated include the Bessbrook Stroke Survivors Club and the “Exercise and Relax Project”, which provides mental health information sessions and physical activity people aged between the ages of 40 – 88. Participants have a range of disabilities and long term respiratory and heart conditions with accompanying poor mental health issues resulting from stroke.

Richmount Rural Community Association and their Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing programme targets the 60 year+ age group, by providing health and wellbeing sessions including art, exercise, reminiscing sessions.

The Purple Heather Group delivered the Promoting Healthy Ageing in Armaghbreague for people aged 65+ by providing craft and flower arranging workshops, physical activity and a Cultural Day outing.

Ms Rogers added: “The Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing is a set of evidence-based Public Health messages aimed at improving the wellbeing of the whole population, based on the “5 Ways to Wellbeing” model developed by the New Economics Foundation.  The premise is that care and treatment to address mental health issues needs to be balanced with prevention and mental health promotion across the entire population,  that this will result in benefits for the whole community, as well as reduce the incidence of mental health disorders in the longer term.”  

She concluded by saying, “Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing encourages groups to be proactive and work collaboratively to develop innovative projects to help build resilience in their local community.”


Notes to the editor

Photo caption: Participants and staff who took part in the Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing celebratory event held in  Palace Stables Armagh on 28th November.

Some examples of other Take 5 for Wellbeing projects funded in 2018-2019 within the Southern locality include:

Clonoe Rural Development Agency – Keeping Heads Up project – promotes mindfulness and resilience techniques for all ages, particularly those who have not availed of previous health and wellbeing programmes.

Men about the town (MATT) – Men Move More – over 45  year old men who are at risk of becoming socially isolated, with sensory and mobility disabilities and/or those with longer term health conditions.

Lislea Community Association – Getting Lislea Active –  aimed at those who may be suffering poor mental health as a result of rural isolation, long-term unemployment and are members of the rural farming community.

Friends of Aughnacloy Day Centre – Me and My Friends Project – provides people with severe learning disabilities and their carers social outings.

Clann Éireann GAC – Take 5 Together, healthy body, health mind programme – personal development programme, where 15 men took mood matters for young men physical activity programme.