Minister of State for Public Health, Well Being and National Drugs Strategy, Frank Feighan T.D. delivered a video address to officially launch Clondalkin as a Sláintecare Healthy Communities area at an event in Rowlagh Community Centre on Friday 9th December. The programme began with Deputy Mayor Tuffy meeting Tom James, Head of Health and Wellbeing Programme, Department of Health, Margaret McQuillan, Head of Health and Wellbeing, Dublin South Kildare & West Wicklow (DSKWW) Community Healthcare and Colm Ward, Director of Services Housing, Social and Community Development of South Dublin County Council. There was also an opportunity for attendees to meet and get photographs with the speakers, organisers and community partners who are involved in the programme delivery in the Clondalkin Sláintecare Healthy Community area. Also on hand for the event were local TD’s and South Dublin County Councillors Gino Kenny TD, Cllr Eoin Ó’Broin, Cllr Shane Moynihan, Cllr Guss O’Connell, Cllr. Madeleine Johansson and Cllr Tara Deacy, Dublin City Council.
The speaker portion of the event took place thereafter in Rowlagh Community Centre. Jennifer Moroney Ward, Senior Executive Officer, Social and Community Development, South Dublin County Council opened the event by introducing the Deputy Mayor of South Dublin Joanna Tuffy, who began by stating “..it gives me great pleasure to welcome the [Sláintecare Healthy Communities] programme to Clondalkin and I am sure it will be well received by the people living and working in Clondalkin.”
The Deputy Mayor went on to introduce Minister Feighan’s video address. In his speech Minister Feighan stated “Sláintecare Healthy Communities is a collective programme where we all work together to ensure that our communities in greatest need are supported to live longer, healthier lives. The programme works here in Clondalkin in partnership with South Dublin County Council, the HSE, South Dublin County Partnership and Deansrath Family Centre to help promote and improve the health and wellbeing of the community. The Programme will support not only the physical and mental health of the people of Clondalkin; but will also support improvement in the wider determinants of health such as in education, housing, social support and the built environment.”
Following this Tom James, Head of Health and Wellbeing Programme, Department of Health spoke about the Programme for Government. He said “Our Shared Future is committed to tackling health inequalities based on race, gender and socio-economic background…. I believe passionately that we must invest in all of our communities, especially those in greatest need, so that none are left behind.”
Margaret McQuillan HSE Dublin South Kildare, West Wicklow Head of Health and Wellbeing spoke next, discussing the variety of different programmes that are available in the local Clondalkin area as part of the Sláintecare Healthy Communities programme including; Stop Smoking Service, We Can Quit, Parenting Programmes, Healthy Food Made Easy, Social Prescribing and Making Every Contact Count. She highlighted that: ‘’each of these evidence-based programmes have been designed to empower and support people to help make healthier lifestyle choices to improve their overall health and wellbeing. These services are free, readily available and accessible to all now’’. Attendees had the opportunity to be introduced to and hear from the Clondalkin coordinators for each of these programmes via audio-visual broadcast. The highlight of the event however was the screening of videography from local service users who have participated in these programmes. Jodie, Carmel, Barbara, Andrea and Betty gave powerful first-hand accounts of the impact these programmes have had on their lives and encouraged others to get involved.
Jennifer Moroney Ward of South Dublin County Council spoke on behalf of her colleague Colm Ward. She touched on the Sláintecare Community Enhancement projects in Clondalkin and the potential of the Healthy Communities programme to make a real difference in the Sláintecare areas of Clondalkin in relation to the determinants of health going forward. She concluded the speaking portion of the speeches by acknowledging the close collaboration between all partners to bring this to reality: “The Sláintecare approach acknowledges the effectiveness of collaborative working and it is rewarding to see this programme launched here in Clondalkin, where groups and agencies have a long history of partnership, working to deliver on community development programmes”
Jennifer then closed the speaker portion of the event by thanking everyone for attending and introducing a performance by the Clondalkin Recovery Choir.
Following the speaker portion of the event, Deputy Mayor Tuffy and Tom James had the opportunity to engage directly with Health and Wellbeing staff, community partners, and other persons in attendance. They spoke with Áine Buggy HSE Sláintecare Healthy Communities co-ordinator, David Morrissey, Clondalkin Sláintecare Healthy Communities Local Development Officer and Keith Ryan HSE Health Promotion and Improvement Officer who were integral in supporting the roll out of these programmes in Clondalkin.
Clondalkin is now officially launched as a designated Sláintecare Healthy Community location. The visit served as an opportunity to showcase all the services and supports available to promote health and wellbeing for the people of the area. The Clondalkin Sláintecare Healthy Communities programme has generated strong collaboration between the HSE, South Dublin County Council, South Dublin County Partnership and Deansrath Family Centre. The event organisers wished to thank all community partners and members of the public who attended, along with the staff of the Rowlagh Community Centre who were on hand to support the event.