Wednesday; 21st April 2010: The Tallaght community and the business world joined forces today to launch a major new initiative to tackle the important issue of health, well being and nutrition. Business in the Community Ireland, a non profit network of companies dedicated to corporate responsibility, and three of its member companies, Pfizer, Sodexo and Glanbia have joined forces with Dodder Valley Partnership to create a new programme entitled "Positive Skills for Living" which aims to change behaviours and attitudes of the greater Tallaght community towards health and food nutrition.
The joint partnership between the businesses and Dodder Valley Partnership represents an innovative approach to tackling a serious health issue in a collaborative, empowering and sustainable way. The foundation of the "Positive Skills for Living" programme is a training course whereby community workers in the local area are trained in a number of areas such as stress management, self esteem, nutrition and cooking healthily on a budget. They then pass on the training to others so the 'ripple' effect of the knowledge benefits the wider community.
Today's event in Fettercairn Community and Youth Centre was the official launch of the programme and a celebration of the first group of 21 participants who completed the pilot training course. Pfizer hosted a feedback and appraisal session four months after the conclusion of the course and 84% of participants said that the course had been extremely relevant to their area of work.
Speaking at the launch of the programme, Sheilann Monaghan, Community Coordinator, Dodder Valley Partnership said "The course has been a great success to date. Some of the feedback we have received is that the course in invaluable for anyone working in the community sector. Already change is evident with some community groups developing nutrition programme for participants, including new eating plans for children attending the groups. Also having the opportunity to transfer the skills and learning to their members or colleagues enables the building of capacity within the community.
The business partners, Pfizer, Sodexo and Glanbia have all offered major commitment to the "Positive Skills for Living" programme both through direct financing of the initiative but more vitally, offering expertise in the areas in which their businesses operate i.e. health , food and well being. Senior Management of each company was in attendance at today's milestone event.
Acknowledging the support from the companies, Tina Roche from Business in the Community Ireland said "It is fantastic to see Pfizer, Sodexo and Glanbia, three companies of such a high calibre, collaborating and joining forces on such a significant undertaking. By developing this programme together they are giving a commitment and support to the Tallaght community that is truly unrivalled. They saw a need in the area and decided to address it by combining the knowledge shared amongst each organisation and it shows a true commitment to being a responsible company even in challenging times."
This year will see another two cycles of training for more community workers in the Fettercairn area of Tallaght and by the end of 2010, it is envisaged that over 60 people will have received the full training and passed the knowledge on to the local community. Following an evaluation study of the impacts of the "Positive Skills for Living" programme in Fettercairn, it is envisaged that similar programmes may be explored for other communities around the country.
Published: 22nd April 2010.