Healthy Ireland

Click the links below for more information on each item.

Healthy Ireland Working Group

Kerry CYPSC established its Healthy Ireland Working Group in response to the National Healthy Ireland (HI) Framework and the increased focus on developing approaches to tackle childhood obesity and improve child and family health and well-being at local level.

Healthy Ireland: A Framework for Improved Health & Wellbeing provides an overarching policy framework to address serious health concerns including: Obesity, Smoking, Mental Health, Alcohol & Drugs, and Sexual Health.

The HI Framework was developed because of concerns that the current health status of people living in Ireland is leading us to a future that is dangerously unhealthy. The Healthy Ireland National Framework links a range of national policies and strategies including: National Physical Activity Plan, Obesity Policy, Healthy Eating Guidelines, Tobacco Free Ireland, Healthy Cities & Counties, Healthy Workplaces, Sexual Health Strategy, Alcohol, and Positive Mental Health.

HI provides the overarching framework and strategic focus for the Kerry CYPSC Healthy Ireland Working Group.

The vision for HI and the Kerry CYPSC HI Working Group is:

A Healthy Ireland, where everyone can enjoy physical and mental health and wellbeing to their full potential, where wellbeing is valued and supported at every level of society and is everyone’s responsibility.”

The core focus of the Kerry CYPSC HI Working Group is to develop and coordinate local initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of children, young people, and families in Kerry.

Who We Are

Membership of the Healthy Ireland Working Group includes representatives from statutory and community and voluntary services in County Kerry including: HSE Community Health Services; Kerry County Childcare Committee; Kerry Diocesan Youth Service; The Institute of Technology Tralee; Kerry CYPSC.

Purpose of the Healthy Ireland Working Group

The main objective of the Healthy Ireland Working Group is to promote positive physical and mental health for children, young people, and families in Kerry and in particular to ensure:

  • The promotion of physical activities and positive health choices for children and young people
  • The promotion of alcohol and substance misuse awareness and education
  • To promote community health and wellbeing awareness, education and parent support
  • The promotion of parent-infant mental health awareness and education
  • To support and coordinate the delivery the HSE Healthy Food Made Easy community food and nutrition programme, to promote healthy eating across the communities of Kerry

Peer Led Workshops to promote physical activity with YouthReach Young People

The Healthy Ireland Fund supported the development of this initiative which aimed to work with early school leavers to explore and address the barriers to the young people’s participation in physical activities and health promotion.

Through creative workshops, staff and students from both YouthReach Tralee and the Institute of Technology Tralee, developed physical activity programmes tailored to meet the needs and choices of the early school leavers. A range of individualised and group programmes were developed and delivered between December 2017 and March 2018. The learning from this project has informed the development of a second programme which we hope to extend to all KDYS YouthReach students from September 2018 to March 2019.

Peer Led Workshops to promote physical activity with YouthReach Young People

The Healthy Ireland Fund supported the development of this initiative which aimed to work with early school leavers to explore and address the barriers to the young people’s participation in physical activities and health promotion.

Through creative workshops, staff and students from both YouthReach Tralee and the Institute of Technology Tralee, developed physical activity programmes tailored to meet the needs and choices of the early school leavers. A range of individualised and group programmes were developed and delivered between December 2017 and March 2018. The learning from this project has informed the development of a second programme which we hope to extend to all KDYS YouthReach students from September 2018 to March 2019.

THINK About Alcohol Programme for 2nd Level and YouthReach

This action was developed following the publication of the Kerry CYPSC THINK About Alcohol Booklet and a call from teachers and principals to develop a programme to support the implementation of the key messages from the booklet in schools. The Kerry CYPSC Drugs & Alcohol Working Group developed the THINK About Alcohol Preventative Education Programme for Secondary Schools; an interactive, multi-media programme for both junior and senior cycle students which fits within the SPHE programme. Training was delivered to secondary school teachers in Kerry to enable them to deliver the programme to students. This initiative also targeted teachers in YouthReach and Youth Training Centres to enable the programme to be delivered to students in second chance education.

Healthy Pre-schools Workshop & Sugar Boards in Early Years Settings

This initiative was developed to promote healthy eating to both children and their parents in pre-schools. The action included a Healthy Pre-schools Workshop and the provision of ‘Sugar Boards’ to promote healthy choices across a range of meals: breakfast cereals, snacks, lunches, treats etc. Resources and support were provided for the development of visual ‘Sugar Boards’ in 125 childcare settings which highlight the nutritional value of foods. The Healthy Pre-schools Workshop training was provided by the HSE Health Promotion and Community Dieticians to support the early years practitioners to deliver a brief information workshop on the sugar boards to parents.

Physi–Kids 0-3 and 3-6 Training for Early Years Services and Parent and Toddler Groups

The Physi-Kids initiative was developed with the support of HI funding in partnership with Kerry County Childcare Committee. The programme consists of tailored training workshops for early years practitioners (0-3 and 3-6 years) and parent & toddler groups (0-3 years) with a primary focus on physical activity through play. Following successful completion of the training each group was provided with an equipment pack to support the implementation of the Physi-Kids programme with their P&T group or in their childcare setting.

The aims of the Physi-Kids Programme were:

  • To enhance the capacity of early years providers, childminders and parent & toddler groups in County Kerry to provide enhanced physical activity opportunities for children aged 0-5 years within their settings.
  • To furnish adults with skills, games and equipment to enable children to lead a physically active lifestyle.
  • To promote a positive attitude to physical activity in young children

The ultimate goal of the programme was to provide opportunities for children to be more active in their communities and to meet the National Guidelines on Physical Activity for Ireland which recommends at least 60 minutes per day for children aged 2 years and over.

10 childminders, 35 early years practitioners and 48 parents from 5 parent & toddler groups participated in the training. The training had a direct impact on over 700 children across the county. Feedback from the programme was overwhelmingly positive and there’s a waiting list of practitioners to participate in the programme in year 2.