12th December 2022
Making “real and lasting change to create communities where people thrive” is the aim of the Sláintecare Healthy Communities, according to Minister Frank Feighan at the recent launch in Clonmel. In recent weeks, HSE/South East Community Healthcare and Tipperary County Council welcomed all community partners, agencies, services and community participants to their Sláintecare Healthy Communities launch. A new cross-government initiative, Sláintecare Healthy Communities aims to deliver increased health and well-being services to community areas across Ireland. The programme will be delivered in partnership with the HSE, local authorities, local communities, and statutory, voluntary, and community groups. The Clonmel area has been identified as one of the 19 communities across the country and is one of three communities across the South East Community Healthcare area (CHO5).
Speaking at the launch, Derval Howley, HSE Head of Service, Health and Wellbeing noted that the “building blocks of the collaboration needed to make the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme a success are already in place here in Clonmel. I would like to highlight the collaboration between the HSE- Health Promotion, Tipperary County Council, Clonmel Resource Centre and Barnardos Clonmel. The work done to date by Paula Lowney our Sláintecare Healthy Communities Coordinator, Stephanie O’Callaghan, Local Development Officer for SHC Tipperary County Council and Yvonne Kelly HP&I Officer is admirable and we are excited for this emerging collaboration to grow and flourish into the future.”
Minister Feighan, in launching the Clonmel programme commented that “to make real and lasting change we need to work together to create communities where people can thrive”. Joe MacGrath, Chief Executive of Tipperary County Council added that “the local authority has a central role to play in improving the overall health and wellbeing of the people in our county. This is reflected in our County Development Plan and Local Economic and Community Plan showcasing our commitment to ensure Tipperary as a great place to live.”
Roger Kennedy, Cathaoirleach of Tipperary County Council, Roger Kennedy noted that the programme was “a clear investment at national and local level in the health and wellbeing of people living in these areas, led out by Healthy Ireland in the Department of Health. This complements the investment in County Tipperary through Healthy Ireland since 2017”. Pat English, Mayor of Clonmel District Borough was also thanked for his support in initially sourcing a venue for the Healthy Food Made Easy programme.
A key element of Sláintecare Healthy Communities is the Enhancement Fund of €250,000 which was made available to the improve the physical space for health and wellbeing. Plans for Suir Island Gardens which is an enhancement project were displayed at the event.
A number of community-led projects being developed through the Local Development Officers remit were also mentioned such as a pilot for Home Energy Assessments which is being delivered collaboratively with the LDO, Raheen College Clonmel and Energy Communities Tipperary Cooperative.
Others include a Cancer Support initiative in partnership with TUS Clonmel, an Inclusive Social Hub for Children and Young People with disabilities involving a wide variety of partners.