This was a pilot project working with people with mental health issues which enabled us to employ a support worker one day a week initially and then another support worker was allocated to the project at the end of October 2012 for a half day a week. The project funded by Genio, was a partnership between ourselves and Cuan Croi, a HSE day centre for people with mental health issues and also involves other HSE mental health services. The aim of our “Connect” project was to work with 7 people to support them to develop and implement individual plans to make new connections within the community. It included engaging in new activities, hobbies, groups, organisations etc. thus making new friends and broadening their social support network and enabling them to live a more full and independent life. We finished the group with 10 people engaged in the project who enjoyed being involved in a wide range of new activities such as horticulture, art, literature, singing in a choir, volunteering, photography, etc. and also making new friends and extending their social network. Feedback from participants and the HSE was very positive.
This pilot project ended in September 2013 as unfortunately there was no more funding available for it.