How have we supported Health in Ireland so far?
We can only thrive if all our citizens are healthy and cared for. We and our donors are passionate about funding innovative solutions in a number of areas such as mental health, obesity, disabilities, carers and hospice care. Illness or disability is something nearly everyone must cope with for part of their lives. Care and understanding make that hard reality easier to bear. Driving for innovative solutions, and for new models of care translates empathy into action, and leaves a legacy whereby all can benefit.
Here are just some examples of the amazing projects our donors have supported:
- One of our strategic givers funded Enable Ireland’s Innowalk project. This incredible assisted walking device helps children with physical disabilities to gain mobility and provide a sense of independence.
- A family who have their philanthropic fund with us wanted to help young people in hospital. One of the children in the family had experienced ill health as a child and remembers hospital as a scary and lonely experience. The family decided to help fund the brilliant Kids' Classics programmes. This programme brings live music to children, their families and healthcare professionals in Dublin’s children’s hospitals. Professional musicians deliver a music programme of activities with children undergoing treatment in neurology, oncology, dialysis and intensive care units among others. Since 2009, Kids' Classics has engaged with over 3,000 children and their families.
- We have provided funding to Be Well Week. This scheme provided grants of €5,000-€7,500 to a number of communities around the country to hold mental health weeks.
- Monies have also been provided to Pavee Point to develop a peer-led Traveller community development programme aimed at addressing malnutrition in the Traveller population, by working with pregnant mothers and parents of young children.
"Since 2009, Kids’ Classics in partnership with the National Concert Hall’s Education, Community and Outreach programme, and with the support of The Community Foundation for Ireland has engaged with over 3,000 children and their families. The success of a pilot programme in 2009 demonstrated the overwhelming demand for this work. Kids' Classics now runs an ongoing music residency programme in nine children's hospitals and hospices."
Health in Ireland
Over the past decade, Ireland has achieved a rapid improvement in life expectancy. Life expectancy in Ireland has increased by almost two and a half years since 2005 and has been consistently higher than the EU average throughout the last decade.
Whilst this is good news, there is also a number of emerging challenges when it comes to the health of our citizens.
Mental health issues are on the rise in this country and particularly amongst young people. Increases in substance abuse has also resulted in worrying trends when it comes to mental health. For example, it is understood that 3 out of 4 young adults binge drink and this correlates with mental health issues.
Another worrying trend in Ireland is the dramatic increase in obesity. 1 in 4 children are now overweight or obese. 4 out of 5 children do not meet the Government’s Physical Activity Guidelines and pre-school children in Ireland watch an average of 2 hours 9 minutes of television a day.
How can you help
Strategic giving by its nature is all about tackling the root causes of social issues. Nowhere is this more prevalent than the area of health. If we address obesity, mental health and other health-related issues, we can stamp out issues at their root cause.
We have funded Mental Health Reform, an advocacy campaign representing 60 organisations in the field, but much more is needed around the provision of services and reducing waiting lists for much-needed help.
Tackling the issue of childhood obesity is where we see a real need for strategic support. Education is the key and the provision of supports to parents and schools. Healthy eating needs to be taught to parents, especially marginalised parents such as Travellers.