Minister of State for Public Health, Wellbeing and the National Drugs Strategy, Hildegarde Naughton TD joined Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, Councillor John Paul Feeley in visiting new projects that have been funded by Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme and Healthy Ireland.
In the first engagement of the day Minister Naughton visited Johnston Central Library to see a demonstration of the new ‘Magic Table’ by library staff. The Magic Table received €5000 in funding from Healthy Ireland and €6256 from Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme. The Magic Table is an interactive tool that uses games, music, visuals and other content to engage and stimulate the people who use it. This sensory piece of equipment will improve the lives of people in our communities living with cognitive disabilities and autism. The activities and games are suitable for people living with dementia, autism and sensory issues and challenges them to think and to connect through touch, sight and sound.
The Minister then visited the new shanette at Cavan Leisure Centre known as the ‘Community Hub’ where the Minister unveiled a plaque and officially opened the new community space. The Community Hub received €10,000 in funding from the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme, €7,500 from Healthy Ireland and €22,000 form Cavan County Council. Work began on the shanette in 2019 and it will function as a multi-purpose facility to accommodate numerous community groups, clubs, organisations and events in Cavan. The shanette is fully wheelchair accessible and equipped with a disabled bathroom, kitchenette and open plan multi-purpose area. It will act as a base for Cavan Lawn Bowls Club who currently have 30 – 40 local regular users. The Lawn has also been installed with a railed step ladder to cater for disability groups and older adults.
The facility will also be used in conjunction with the newly developed Cycle Hub at Cavan Leisure Centre. All community groups within the county will be offered the opportunity to utilise the Hub and its facilities for training courses, participation initiatives and health and wellbeing projects.
The HSE and Cavan County Local Development also had stalls set up in the shanette for those in attendance to hear more about the initiatives being rolled out in Cavan under the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme including the Parenting Programmes, We Can Quit and Healthy Food Made Easy.
Cathaoirleach of Cavan County Council, Councillor John Paul Feeley said, “the aim of Sláintecare Healthy Communities is to support our communities to live healthier lives and the projects we have witnessed today will go a long way to help achieve that aim. The Magic Table is a wonderful asset to our library service and promotes an inclusive environment for those with additional needs to enjoy. It’s a great benefit to have the Community Hub based in a prime location creating the opportunity for a number of local community groups to utilise this fantastic facility.”
Director of Service for Community, Enterprise, Tourism and Planning, Brendan Jennings said, “this has been a great opportunity for the Minister to see the quality of projects that have been funded in the county through the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme, Healthy Ireland and Cavan County Council. We will continue to engage with our local community groups to ensure that these projects create real lasting change and will promote the health and wellbeing of our local communities.”
Source: Cavan County Council