New Year launch of local health and well-being Hub

A new health and well-being initiative currently being rolled out by Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum was launched recently. The initiative is called ‘CoH-Sync’ which is short for Community Health Synchronisation.

The CoH-Sync project is a cross border EU INTERREG VA funded programme and is now available to anyone who wants to begin their journey to getting healthier but doesn’t know where to start.  Whether it is help to quit smoking, lose weight, make new connections in your community or just generally feel better about life, CoH-Sync can help.

According to the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr John Boyle, CoH-Sync is not about making big changes to your life: “The new year is often a time for people to think about making improvements to their lives. If you want to take that first step to leading a healthier life then the CoH-Sync service could be for you. It’s about enabling people, of all ages and fitness levels, to make some simple changes to their life, with the friendly advice and support of a trained Health Facilitator throughout. This ongoing support will help participants to keep on track and reach personal goals.

(Standing l to r): Sam Duncan, CoH-Sync  Project Community Health Facilitator, Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership; Aoife Balfour, CAWT CoH-Sync Project worker, Western Health and Social Care Trust; Brigid McGinty, Project manager, CoH-Sync Project; Aileen McGuinness,  CoH-Sync Project Lead,  Bogside & Brandywell Health Forum; Anne Ferguson,  CoH-Sync Project Community Health Facilitator, Strabane Health Improvement Project; Jayne Lecky CoH-Sync Project Community Health Facilitator, Derg Valley Health Living Centre and  Lorraine Kivelehan, CoH-Sync Project Community Health Facilitator , Bogside & Brandywell Health Forum. (Seated l to r) Dr. Maura O’Neill, Assistant Director of Performance & Service Improvement, Western Health and Social Care Trust and Emmett Lynch, CAWT CoH-Sync Project Worker, Western Health and Social Care Trust.

Funding for the CoH-Sync project was secured by the cross border health services partnership, Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT) from the European Union’s INTERREG VA programme. The Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) is a CAWT partner organisation.

Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum was successful in winning the contract to develop a CoH-Sync health and wellbeing hub in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area. This hub is facilitating people to improve their health and wellbeing in areas such as physical activity, mental health, nutrition, smoking and alcohol consumption.

(Standing l to r): Brigid McGinty; CoH-Sync Project Manager  CAWT;  Jarlath McNulty, Strabane Health Improvement Project Coordinator;  Aileen McGuinness, CoH-Sync Project Lead, Bogside & Brandywell Health Forum; Brian O`Neill,  Department for Communities; Fiona Mc Cann, Public Health Agency; Gerard McFadden, Strabane Neighbourhood Renewal ; Alison Wallace, Manager, Waterside Neighbourhood Partnership and Michael Connelly, Derg Valley Health Living Centre. (Seated l to r): Dr. Maura O’Neill, Assistant Director of Performance & Service Improvement, Western Health and Social Care Trust and Seamus Ward, General Manager,  Bogside & Brandywell Health Forum.

A participant on the programme from the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum said: “if I did not take part in this programme I would not be sitting here today as I was finding it difficult to deal with my postnatal depression. I would like to thank everyone for helping me turn things around.”

Commenting on Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum’s success in securing the CoH-Sync project contract valued at €364,325, Seamus Ward, General Manager said: “The Bogside & Brandywell Health Forum offer a range of health and well-being programmes in workplaces, schools and in our community. We are delighted to be delivering this new programme and ensuring that the CoH-Sync service is accessible to a wide range of people across all communities.”  He added: “I would encourage people to sign up to an initial consultation with one of our CoH-Sync Health Facilitators. It is a free service and could open the way to new activities and connections in your area.”

Speaking on behalf of the CAWT cross border health and social care Partnership, which secured the EU funding for the border region, Dr Maura O’Neill, Assistant Director of Performance at the WHSCT said: “It is fantastic that this CAWT EU funded CoH-Sync health and wellbeing hub is now up and running in the Western Trust  area. The focus for the hub is to prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart and circulatory related or respiratory illness happening in the first place. It is always more difficult and costly to manage chronic illness so therefore this project is about enabling people to improve their health and general well-being within a supportive community-based environment, thereby preventing or reducing the chances of a person succumbing to a chronic illness.” She added: “I wish to congratulate Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum for their success in securing the contract for a CoH-Sync Hub and wish them every success as the project is rolled out to communities.”

For more information on the CoH-Sync project locally or to find out how you can book the services of a Health Facilitator contact tel no.: 028 71 36 53 30 or email: info@bbhealthforum.org

Notes to editors:

  • The CAWT Community Health Sync Project has received grant funding totalling €5.01 million and is funded through the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body, and match funded by the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Government with support from the Scottish Government.
  • The  CAWT Community Health Sync project partners are the HSE, Western Health and Social Care Trust; Southern Health and Social Care Trust; Public Health Agency, Health and Social Care Board and NHS Dumfries and Galloway.
  • The Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland. It is responsible for managing two EU Structural Funds Programmes, PEACE IV and INTERREG VA which are designed to enhance cross-border cooperation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society. The Programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG VA, Western Scotland.
  • The INTERREG VA Programme has a European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) contribution of €240 million and aims to address the economic and social problems which result from the existence of borders.
  • For more information on the SEUPB please visit www.seupb.eu
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