• May Newsletter

Walking group St. Brendan’s

St. Brendan’s walking group was established in September 2005 as part of a broader strategy of Healthactionzone (HAZ) in promoting outdoor physical activity across all HAZ areas of The North side areas of Cork City.

Operating from St. Brendan’s day centre as a base to meet on Monday mornings (except for Bank Holidays) at 11am with a small number to begin with, the group now has a membership of 33 with a core group of 25-30 meeting regularly from St. Brendan’s and returning thereafter for tea and a chat.

The walk usually takes about 45-60 minutes done at one’s own pace including both long and shorter routes to accommodate people’s needs and ability. When the group was still in its infancy Ester Aherne became a member and subsequent a coordinator of the group and has played a significant role in its maintenance and ongoing development.

Members have also been encouraged to participate in Walk Leader Training courses organised in conjunction with The Irish Heart foundation. The group has also organised and supported Meet and Mingles throughout the year where exchange visits with other walking groups from Mayfield, Church field, Blackpool, Youghal, Mallow and Fermoy meet up and have tea/scones afterwards.

Meet and Mingles also provide a forum for allied health professionals to promote upcoming events/programmes or courses with a health related focus relevant to the target group. The group has also visited other well-known locations which also reduces any boredom that might set in if one was using the same route each week such as The Lough, Lee Fields, Mahon, Tramore Valley Park, The Lifetime Lab just to name a few.

St Brendan’s day centre has proved to be an ideal location for the walking group to meet because its members have also participated in the many events/activities which are organised there  throughout the year and helps members to add to their own social capacity resulting in positive health and wellbeing outcomes for all.

Since the land (then known as Goulding’s Glen) was gifted to the people of Cork in the 1960s, Cork City Council have developed the area as the Glen Amenity Park (Glen River Park) – with walkways, seating and plenty of green space in what is otherwise a totally urban setting. Care has been taken in the development of the Glen River Park to preserve the natural attractiveness of the area.

The park is located in a deep steep-sided valley and includes a range of habitats that are of biodiversity value. At the heart of the site is one of the city’s most diverse wetland areas which includes ponds, wet grassland, wet woodland and swampy areas of emergent vegetation including common  reedmace , sweet-grass, canary reed-grass and common reed, providing a valuable refuge for birds, insects and other wildlife and of biodiversity value. Bird species which nest in the area include some that are restricted to wetland areas such as moorhen and reed bunting. Artificial lagoons created at the Glen are a feature of the park. The park also includes a soccer pitch and a Cork City Council depot.

Cuddles and Chats Toddler Group

Purpose of the parent and toddler group

Local support groups where parents and carers can meet in a safe and friendly environment to build upon parenting capacity

  • develop relationships with their children and peers
  • to aid child developmental milestones
  • to share ideas and engage in new experiences
  • encourage play and develop social skills among the children.

Throughout the year the group engages with Happy Talk language and development programme delivered on site by qualified Speech and Language therapist. This is usually a 4 week programme in autumn and spring terms. The group carries on during School holidays but does take a break in July and August.

The group also celebrates in-house each child birthday with a cake and laminated group photograph presented to parent/guardian/child-minder as a memento and usually finishes for the summer with an outing to Fota Wildlife park by train on the last Tuesday in June, and following the break returns on first Tuesday of September.

A fishy way to engage with men.

Engaging with men from a health perspective can be very challenging but using fishing as the bait it can be successful.

In 2011 the Glen Health Action Zone set up a local fishing group as a means of engaging men in physical activity. Using local knowledge and contacts we had our first outing in April 2011 which had a mix of fathers, sons, nephews, cousins and local residents and headed off down to Bantry at 8.30am arriving back at 6pm.

Local men such as Val Nugent, Gerard, Dominic and Gordon Rodgers, Liam Donovan, James Cotter and Finbarr Harris played a key role in getting the group up and running and promoting it at a local level, and continue to do so.

Both young and older share their experiences, knowledge (and sometimes white lies) as they happily cast out and reel in during the day and if something are at the end of the line all the better. Over the course of the trips held monthly from April to September – 6 in total each year, new relationships are formed as well as a deepening respect for each other’s skills in the art of fishing.

April is looming large upon us as members are busy getting their tackle ready for the season ahead and also on the prizes that wait at seasons end. Who will be the overall winner; an elder fisherman or an upcoming junior, let the season begin.

  • fishing season runs from ~April to September
  • Bus leaves from the Glen Resource Centre 8.30am on second Saturday of each month.
  • Cost €7.50 which includes a permit for a days fishing and transport
  • Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times

The Glen Community Garden Project

Contact Bernard Twomey
Community Health Worker
The Glen HAZ
Open to new members/volunteers
Wednesday mornings at 11am

Food poverty is internationally recognised as the inability to acquire or consume an adequate quality or sufficient quantity of food in a socially acceptable way, or uncertainty that one will be able to do so.(cited in Dowler&Turner ,2012). We aim to provide access to freshly grown local fruit and vegetables, and to increase local awareness of where food comes from and the benefits they bring to ones own diet.

Ongoing site development and completion of Sensory garden area. Identifying additional supports as needs dictate to ensure longterm sustainability.

The group meet regularly throughout the year on Wednesday mornings in the grounds of The Glen Resource Centre from 11am to 1pm.

To date we have facilitated access to a local pollytunnel, established a rainwater harvesting system along with a waste management demonstration site and are presently developing a sensory garden area.

We will also be organising a number of educational workshops aimed at schools, groups and individuals so as to increase their own understanding and awareness of what nature has to offer.

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