On Friday October 28th, Waterford City and County Council along with the HSE launched Sláintecare Healthy Communities in Waterford.
 
The launch took place in Cill Barra Community Sports Centre where it was attended by Deputy Metropolitan Mayor Cllr Lola O’Sullivan, Minister of State at the Department of Health for Mental Health and Older People Mary Butler TD and representatives from Brill Family Resource Centre, St. Brigid’s Family Resource Centre and Sacred Heart Family Resource Centre.  Members of Waterford City and County Council’s Community department as well as the HSE’s Health and Wellbeing, including Health Promotion and Improvement team are directly involved in the delivery of the programme and in bringing Sláintecare to Waterford.
 
Launched nationally in October 2021, Sláintecare Healthy Communities is led by Healthy Ireland in the Department of Health, which has commissioned Local Authorities, HSE and a wide range of community-based organisations to work together and deliver the range of health and wellbeing initiatives in targeted community areas.
 
There is widespread recognition that communities have a vital role in improving health and wellbeing. The communities where people are born, live, work and socialise in have a significant influence on how healthy they are. 
 
Sláintecare Healthy Communities provides new opportunities for communities to be involved in actions that can nurture health and wellbeing. Being able to do this gives local people a sense of control over what happens where they live and work.
 
Deputy Metropolitan Mayor Cllr Lola O’Sullivan noted how Sláintecare will add to the amenities and services which are already in place in Ballybeg.  “I appreciate the principles underpinning the work of Sláintecare which are to recognise the strengths and assets already within the community and to work in partnership with the community and stakeholders, which is crucial to ensure that programme is effective and to truly level the playing field for everyone living in our local communities.”
 
Mary Butler TD added, “I am really delighted to see Sláintecare Healthy Communities launched here in Waterford City. As Minister with responsibility for Older People and Mental Health, I am keenly interested in initiatives that promote health and wellbeing right across the life-course.
 
“The Healthy Communities Programme does just this; it provides an opportunity for us to work together to make sure that all the members of our community are supported to live longer, healthier lives.”
 
A fund of €250,000 was allocated to each Local Authority area under the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme to support projects that provided added value from a ‘social determinants of health’ perspective.  The fund is being used to fund four projects which have recently been completed: the new Mount Sion footpath to the Play Park, the resurfacing of Bernard Place Tennis Courts, the upgrade of Ballybeg Playground and the upgrade of Ballybricken Green.
 
In addition €75,000 seed funding is being provided to community projects that will help to reduce the health inequalities in six disadvantaged areas of the city.
 
This increase in resources for local authorities is aimed at integrating the health and wellbeing agenda with the broader aims of supporting a ‘social determinants’ approach to health inequalities.
 
Derval Howley, Head of Services, Health and Well Being, HSE said, “HSE / South East Community Health Care is delighted to fund and support the Healthy Communities project in Waterford, a place where there is a strong history of partnership working between the HSE, the Local Authorities, other agencies and the community.”
 
Waterford City and County Council will coordinate and support the Sláintecare Healthy Communities Programme with the Local Community Development Committees and their existing Healthy Living initiative.
 
Targeted supports will be delivered to help promote and improve the overall health and wellbeing of our community, particularly around factors that can have a profound impact on our lives such as smoking, nutrition, and parenting.
 
Health and wellbeing is affected by all aspects of a person’s life; economic status, education, housing, the physical environment in which people live and work. People in Waterford City will have better access to services provided locally by the HSE and other partners.
 
For further information about Sláintecare visit www.hse.ie