Monday, March 15, 2021

Pictured at “Celebrating International Social Prescribing Service” were l-r, Niall Morris (Director of Services St. Catherine’s Community Services), Sinead Fox (Co-ordinator Social Prescribing Service) and Valerie Byrne (Healthy Carlow). Photo:

By Elizabeth Lee

ST Catherine’s Community Services Centre in Carlow has a new free support service that aims to reduce social isolation and improve people’s health and wellbeing.

The Carlow Social Prescribing service is based within the community and operates from St Catherine’s on St Joseph’s Road and the New Oak Community Centre, both in Carlow town.

The service provides individuals with information on areas of interest such as social groups, exercise classes, relaxation sessions, volunteering opportunities, support services and much more, all in their local area.

Social prescribing is about supporting the health and wellbeing of people by using community-based activities and supports such as exercise, art, community health education, gardening, holistic therapies or fun activities.

They can meet people to discuss what activities interest them, the benefits of participating in them and they will assist and support them to link in and attend these activities.

The Carlow Social Prescribing service is for people over 18 registered with a GP in Carlow town and Graiguecullen. A person can be referred by a health professional, community worker or they can contact the service directly.

St Catherine’s is holding a lunchtime webinar on Thursday 18 March to celebrate this year’s International Social Prescribing Day. This event will be hosted by its new Carlow Social Prescribing Service and joining in will be several guest speakers from various community groups, including Lisa Sieger-Jamison, social prescribing co-ordinator with Southside Partnership; Healthy Carlow; Carlow Sports Partnership; Carlow Volunteer Centre; Kilkenny Carlow Education Training Board; Martin Matthews, Shine Discovery co-ordinator, Shine Mental Health Service.

The service in St Catherine’s is currently funded under Healthy Ireland and is an action of the Healthy Carlow County Committee. For more information, please contact Carlow Social Prescribing co-ordinator Sinéad Fox on 059 9138700.

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