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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.​

Visioning Questions

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 children

  • for older people

  • for parents

  • 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?

Activity Idea

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

  • Peaceful spaces

  • Busy spaces

  • 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.

Action Ideas

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. See page 3: https://www.socialjustice.ie/sites/default/files/attach/civil-society-article/4398/ppnuserguidev1may16.pdf

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) www.bikeweek.ie/

Encourage local workplaces to use the Healthy Workplaces framework

Developed by Healthy Ireland, this intends to nourish sustainability for employees within organisations. Learn more: https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/healthwellbeing/healthy-ireland/

Campaign for more safe cycle routes locally

And cycle stands to park bicycles! Keep up to date with emerging Greenways news at: http://cyclist.ie/cycling-news/greenway-news/ and learn from the Western Greenway development to support any local initiative that could be set up: http://www.greenway.ie/

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

Further Links

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: