A 'Caring for Carers' event has been held in Derry as part of a community project delivered by women from the Foyle Chapter of The Next Chapter PEACE IV project.
The Next Chapter aims to improve the representation of women in community, public and political life and contribute to a more gender sensitive society in Northern Ireland and the border regions of the republic of Ireland.
Powered by Politics Plus in conjunction with Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) and Irish Rural Link, The Next Chapter is funded through the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding for the project has also been provided by the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland and the Executive Office in Northern Ireland.
In recognition of the tireless work of carers, women from the Foyle Chapter invited 25 parents of children who attend Ardnashee School and College to the White Horse Hotel in Campsie for a morning of relaxation and restoration with therapy sessions such as reflexology and Indian head massage, followed by a group session on mindfulness.
Invited guests were delighted to be joined by the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Michaela Boyle, and together they listened to a talk promoting mental health wellness.
Mayor Boyle said: “As a former MLA involved with the work of the Next Chapter and Politics Plus through the Northern Ireland Assembly Women’s Caucus, I am delighted to attend this event organised by women from the local Foyle Chapter. Women continue to be the backbone of society and ‘Caring for Carers’ demonstrates that women can and will make a difference when it comes to what matters to them most.”
Marie Dunne, Hopeful Minds, said: “It was a pleasure to be part of such an amazing event. Parents and carers who look after children with special needs are very inspirational people, they give so much of themselves in caring, that leaves themselves with little left for self. This event was an opportunity to let them know they are valued and to remind them about the importance to care by introducing hope and resilience into their lives.”
Danielle Flood, a member of the Foyle Chapter, added: “Our ‘Caring for Carers’ Community Project was brought together by six strong woman; together we can achieve what we believe in ways that bring hope to the future.”
A further Next Chapter event, 'An Audience with Bronagh Hinds' highlighting the story of the NI Women's Coalition, a cross community party formed in 1996 by local women, will take place at the Guildhall on Monday, February 10, at 7pm.
You can egister on Eventbrite for this free event in Derry.
It will be compered by local journalist Freya McClements.
More information on The Next Chapter can be found at www.thenextchapter.eu.
Politics Plus was established in 2013.
The aim of the organisation is to create a positive future for politics by encouraging engagement between elected representatives and public officials at all levels of government; strengthening the role of women in political and public life; and delivering international development and exchange programmes for elected representatives and public officials in states affected by conflict and instability.
The Next Chapter will contribute to the Special EU Programmes Body’s overarching programme output of regional level projects that result in meaningful, purposeful and sustained contact between persons from different communities.
The Special EU Programmes Body is a North/South Implementation Body sponsored by the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Ireland.
It is responsible for managing two EU Structural Funds Programmes, PEACE IV and INTERREG VA which are designed to enhance cross-border co-operation, promote reconciliation and create a more peaceful and prosperous society.
The Programmes operate within a clearly defined area including Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and in the case of INTERREG VA, Western Scotland.
The PEACE IV Programme has a value of €270 million and aims to address the economic and social problems which result from the existence of borders.
Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography
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