Council Partners Health News

New Passport Highlights Clare’s Health Enhancing Natural Amenities

A new health and wellbeing passport that encourages people living in Clare to explore the county’s local natural amenities has been launched by Healthy Clare.

The Clare Blue Health and Wellbeing Passport focuses on the Blue and Green Flag beaches in County Clare, which are highlighted on an interactive map, along with nearby free or low-cost, health-promoting activities and spaces in each Municipal District. Explorers can rate the blue spaces they’ve visited by colouring in the number of hearts above the location on the map.

The passport also features a listing of playgrounds, nice walks and wellbeing hubs in each Municipal District, as well as advice for staying safe while outdoors.

Cllr Joe Cooney, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, said, “the Clare Blue Health and Wellbeing Passport is a fun resource for both the young and old living in County Clare to enjoy. It’s great to see another practical initiative like this being supported by the Healthy Ireland and Creative Ireland funds. I myself look forward to exploring these ‘wellbeing spots’ over the holiday period with my own family and friends.”

According to Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, “Clare is a beautiful county and our access to the coast should never be underestimated. It is a recreational asset we have in abundance here in County Clare and I am delighted to see it front and centre of this health and wellbeing passport. It is encouraging to see Clare’s inland wellbeing sites also included, particularly the walking trails and playgrounds that are growing in numbers across the county. I hope that others will join me in enjoying the health benefits of Clare’s natural environments, especially over the coming months.”

Bernadette Haugh, Chief Officer, Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), commented, “it has been a joy to support this initiative, which was developed by the Healthy Clare Working Group, a subcommittee of the LCDC. A healthy, equitable and inclusive county is one of the high-level goals of Clare’s Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP) and the Clare Blue Health and Wellbeing Passport is just one example of how projects are supporting this vision. I look forward to seeing more initiatives like this over the coming years as we strive to ensure a healthier Clare for all to enjoy.”

Dena McGrath, Healthy Clare Co-Ordinator, said that, “research shows that direct experiences of nature can enhance our sense of wellbeing and benefits our physical and mental health, especially by reducing anxiety. Promoting positive mental health is a key priority of the Healthy Clare Working Group and I’m hopeful that this passport will be a fun and interactive tool for exploring Clare’s health enhancing environments.”

“Finally, I wish to thank all the partners who supported the development of this initiative and gave generously of their time, the members of the Healthy Clare Working Group, Clare County Council’s  Visit Clare, Greener Clare, Environment Section, the local Municipal District Area Offices, along with Clare Libraries and Mental Health Ireland. It’s the collaborative approach to health that allows us to achieve impactful initiatives like this.” 

The Clare Blue Health and Wellbeing Passport can be viewed online on Clare County Council’s dedicated webpage:

Source: Clare County Council

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