Cork County Council Announces...


Cork County Council Announces ‘Arts And Chats’ Project To Tackle Social Isolation

RedFM News
RedFM News

01:16 1 Nov 2023

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Cork County Council’s ‘Arts and Chats’ is a new initiative that will offer people dealing with social isolation the chance to discover new hobbies and meet new people.

Social isolation can often be particularly apparent in rural areas and can impact older age groups, people with chronic health issues, mental health difficulties and psychological needs, carers, single parents, immigrants, and minority ethnic groups. Social prescribing recognises that health is heavily determined by social factors such as poverty, isolation and loneliness. Through the use of social prescribing, healthcare professionals and others refer people to a range of local non-clinical services to help improve a person’s wellbeing.

Supported by Creative Ireland, the ‘Arts and Chats’ project will see Cork County Council work with four established networks in the county to build connections between the social prescribing networks, the libraries, and creative facilitators living and working throughout the county.

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn said of the initiative, “It is important to us, in a county of this size with a large rural area, to maintain a close-knit sense of community.  Creativity has many mental health benefits. From singing in a choir to crocheting a blanket, we are delighted to offer people experiencing social isolation an opportunity to get out and meet people all while being creative.”

Through Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, Cork County Council’s Library and Arts Service will establish a panel of facilitators that will receive training in social prescribing. The training will draw on experiences from other counties to give people a broad knowledge of what social prescribing is and how they can support their networks.

‘Arts and Chats’ will offer a series of workshops for the social prescribing networks through the Council’s library branches. The participants will take part in a creative activity, from printmaking and drawing to ukelele playing or singing. The workshops are designed to be social, with a cup of tea and a chat being an important element of each meeting.

Dr. Sheelagh Broderick, Senior Health Promotion at Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, Health Service Executive said, “This is a great opportunity for people who have been isolated to get out and get creative in their own local communities. The service is being provided free and support is available for those who have difficulty with access. Get in touch with your Social Prescribing Link Worker at Family Resource Centres in Dunmanway, Adrigole, Mallow, Midleton and Ballincollig.”

With the support of Creative Ireland, Cork County Council together with the National Family Resource Centre Mental Health project and Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Health Promotion & Improvement Department, will deliver the ‘Arts and Chats’ Social Prescribing Project from December of this year.  For further details contact [email protected].

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