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Health & Well-being
What would our community look like if everyone was able to flourish and thrive, that they felt connected, satisfied with services and able to cope with whatever knocks they encounter? This section will take a justice approach to reflecting on health and well-being and propose ways for people to thrive - not just survive - as members of Sustainable Communities now and for future generations.
What are we already doing to promote health and wellbeing in our community?
What would our community look like if we were to be successful in achieving health and wellbeing for all our citizens and the environment?
What would it look like for:
for older people
for anyone with access issues
for other groups who often are excluded.
In order to achieve a vision of a community supporting all its citizens to flourish as a result of positive health and wellbeing, what would need to change:
within our natural environment
in public spaces
within our schools
in our shops and services
at policy level
any other change needed?
In small groups of 3 – 4 people, go into the community and draw a map of the area – identify and draw on the map the spaces in your area where:
People feel safe
People feel afraid
People feel relaxed
People connect with others
Spaces that enable reflection
Spaces that are inaccessible for buggies and wheelchairs, or anyone who has access difficulties
Spaces where there are different kinds of people meeting (e.g. young/ old/ diverse backgrounds/ men/ women/ etc.)
Bring the findings from the maps together, and draw one big map of the area, merging all the ideas. Display this somewhere prominent in the community, e.g. community centre or the local health centre.
Create a Wellbeing statement for your community or organisation
A wellbeing statement looks at what is required for the wellbeing of individuals and communities, now and for the generations to come. Wellbeing is a multifaceted entity combining social, economic, democratic and environmental factors. It requires that basic needs are met, that people have a sense of purpose, and that they feel able to achieve important goals, to participate in society and to live the lives they value and have reason to value.
Introduce a Sli@Work scheme for staff and volunteers
Set up your own Slí na Sláinte walking route
Get staff or volunteers trained as Community Walk Leaders
Check out this training programme with Irish Heart Foundation
Create quiet spaces in your organisation
This can allow people to rest, meditate, take some time out each day when they need it. It could be an indoor or an outdoor space.
Organise something for Bike Week
Organise an activity or event for National Bike Week (June)
Encourage local workplaces to use the Healthy Workplaces framework
Developed by Healthy Ireland, this intends to nourish sustainability for employees within organisations.
Campaign for more safe cycle routes locally
And cycle stands to park bicycles!
Set up a community garden
You can get support from http://cgireland.org or even apply for Energia 'Get Ireland Growing' funding from Grow It Yourself, e.g. clearing space for an inner-city community garden, putting a polytunnel on a school roof or creating a pond at an allotment.
Practice self-care and introduce mindfulness activities into group meetings
Some useful starting points are:
Headspace - a very popular mindfulness/meditation app that has a decent blog going back a number of years. See their category on mindfulness at work
Mindfulness At Work – Irish consultant working in this space, see her blog
Search Inside Yourself – a Google non-profit used by their employees
Check out the merging wellbeing work from the EPA: http://epa.ie/irelandsenvironment/environmentandwellbeing
Community gardens network:
This ‘Prosperous Wales’ document looks at the Future Generations Act with some excellent ideas within it:
An interesting perspective on Burnout from the Irish Times: