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New urban gardening, autism and rowing projects to begin across Cork City

Cork city centre will to be ‘greened’ with foliage and vegetable gardens, an outdoor gym will be developed on the city’s northside and a physical activity programme for people with autism are just some of the initiatives  to be  developed  in the city due to a €99,000 funding injection.

Cork City Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), which is administered & supported by Cork City Council, has been awarded €99,000 through the Healthy Ireland Fund to support the implementation of Healthy Ireland initiatives in Cork City. 

Lord  Mayor, Cllr Tony Fitzgerald said: “For many years in Cork City, we have embraced the evidence that health is influenced by where a person lives, their income, their level of education, their culture, and accessibility of public services.  This funding injection will allow us to further build on our work with the various inter-agency structures to support the implementation of the ‘Healthy Ireland’ national health policy”.

LCDC Chair, Cllr Fergal Dennehy said: “ The Cork City LCDC is committed to the promotion & maintenance of  community development, social inclusion, wellbeing & equality across the city and all of these projects help to promote these values: by getting people physically active and by supporting them to take part in and meet with others in their communities”.

The projects that will be funded include:

  • The Green Spaces for Health Initiative: This will see the South Parish become a pilot project for healthy, sustainable, green urban living in a densely developed inner city area.  Gardening schemes that benefit the local area and provide opportunities for social interaction will be established through an ‘Adopt a Food Box Scheme’. 
  • The Northside Enhanced Physical Activity and Sports Project. In recent years, the City Council has developed a looped tarred walk around a suite of two  playing pitches at Fairfield Park at Fairhill. The walk is extremely popular and is also used by two walking groups attached to the HSE Health Action Zone (HAZ). The Cork City LCDC Healthy Ireland Initiative will fund the provision of an enclosed outdoor gym at the Fairfield. The gym will consist of a cluster of equipment located adjacent to the walkway. The equipment will be all inclusive, suitable for people of all abilities have a wide range and free to all, addressing the issue of cost being a barrier to being more active.  In addition to the two HSE HAZ groups that use the Fairfield, training and mentoring support programmes will be put in place by Cork City Council Sports Unit/HSE/Cork Sports Partnership to ensure maximum use of the facility. Match funding for this development will be provided by Cork City Council and Cork Kerry Community Healthcare (HSE).
  • Maritime physical activities for youth and adults. This initiative will also fund a rowing activity programme delivered by Meitheal Mara, Cork's community boatyard and maritime training centre, and will build on the recently established relationship between local youth groups and a group of young people living in direct provision.
  • GetAutismActive is a physical activity programmed aimed at individuals with autism living and working in the community. It is a targeted, collaborative, interactive, and accessible model of delivering a specially formulated physical activity programme. The programme is designed to affect change in the fundamental movement skills (or the building blocks of movement) in the participants and in turn increasing the health outcomes for those involved.
  • The Cork City LCDC initiative will also provide funding to Cork Food Policy Group to support the development of a Food Strategy for Cork. As part of this strategy, an inventory of potential food growing resources will be undertaken.
  • Cork Cancer Action Network (CCAN) will be supported to deliver the ‘We Can Quit’ smoking cessation programme in six areas across the city.
  • A part-time co-ordinator will be hired to help drive sustainable travel as part of the Transport and Mobility Forum (TMF). There will be an emphasis on active travel to work/education and on promoting walking and cycling as part of everyday activities e.g. shopping / recreation.  

Cork City Council, the HSE, Cork Healthy Cities, Cork Local Sports Partnership, Cork City Public Participation Network (PPN), Cork Cancer Action Network, CYPSC, The Cork Transport & Mobility Forum Plan, The Cork Food Policy Council Plan, Meitheal Mara & the Maritime Strategy and The Cork Cancer Action Network all contributed to the funding application.

The Healthy Ireland Fund Objectives are:

  • Raise awareness of and support for Healthy Ireland through funding of community-based and national health promotion activities
  • To facilitate and resource cross-sectoral and partnership networks that promote health and wellbeing
  • To resource the development of locally-led, cross-sectoral strategies promoting health and wellbeing

 To add value to existing health promotion initiatives through the provision of Healthy Ireland resources

  •  To support the health and wellbeing of the most disadvantaged groups and areas and those experiencing significant health inequality through long-term planning
  • To create an environment where every individual and sector of society can play their part in achieving a Healthy Ireland



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