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Cross border project improves the health and wellbeing of over 1000 people in Armagh and Dungannon area

5th August 2022

An independent report has commended the work of community partners in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust for their delivery of an EU funded project called Community Health Synchronisation (CoH-Sync).  Facilitated through CAWT (Co-operation and Working Together) – which this year marks 30 years of cross border health partnership – 1,280 people in the Project’s target area within the Southern Trust  have been directly supported to improve their health and well-being over the project’s four year duration.

As part of the project, a Health and Well-being Hub – established and managed by Connected Health – operated in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust area of Armagh and Dungannon.

Each participant in the programme was supported to develop and action their own Health and Well-being Plan under the guidance of a Community Health Facilitator based in the Hub. This enabled people to take health into their own hands by identifying areas in their lifestyle, such as smoking cessation, alcohol consumption, improved nutrition or increased physical activity, which needed to be modified in order to improve their overall health status.

Participants benefitted from a wide range of classes and activities including physical activity classes, online cookery classes, mindfulness, life coaching, online book clubs, creative writing classes, art and craft tutorials.

The report highlights how well the CoH-Sync Hubs adjusted to the Covid-19 pandemic providing important and much needed support and assistance to many people, particularly when their mental health and well-being was more vulnerable.

Speaking on behalf of the CAWT Partnership. Bill Forbes, Director General, said: “The CoH-Sync project was embedded in cross-border communities, working with, and through, existing local organisations and initiatives. This person and community-centred approach to health and well-being, which was the basis for the CoH-Sync project, has significant potential to improve outcomes for individuals, support the development of resilient communities and, over time, help reduce demand on formal health and social care services.” He added: “We are appreciative of the funding support received from the EU INTERREG VA programme to deliver this successful project.”

Commenting on the success of CoH-Sync, Gerard Rocks, Assistant Director for Promoting Wellbeing, Southern Trust said: “The CoH-Sync Hub has proved to be a real asset to our community, providing an invaluable, personalised service for local people.  Through the dedicated support of Community Health Facilitators, project participants were empowered to make lifestyle changes which have had positive impacts on their health and well-being.  I look forward to seeing how the good practice emerging from this project will inform future activities throughout the Trust area.”