New cross-border project which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of disabled people will be launched in Derry today

Calls for election hopefuls to embrace the needs of people with disabilities in Louth

A new cross-border project which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of disabled people living in Northern Ireland and the border regions will be launched in Derry today.

At the project launch in the Millennium Forum, attendees will hear how the ONSIDE project aims to increase participants social and digital involvement in the community.

The project is supported by an award of €5.56m by the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, a programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding has also been provided by the Departments of Health in Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Northern Ireland Minister for Health Robin Swann MLA said: “The ONSIDE project clearly aligns with our Health and Wellbeing 2026 healthcare transformation strategy, with a strong emphasis on co-production, community-based services and reducing social isolation.

"In the current challenging financial climate, the substantial European funding contribution which is helping to facilitate this project is greatly welcomed.

"It will deliver significant benefits through improving access to support services for disabled people living in remote and rural areas, ultimately yielding positive outcomes for its participants in terms of improved social engagement, independence and wellbeing.”

The Republic's Minister for Health, Simon Harris, said: “Ireland’s citizens have benefited greatly from European funding through the INTERREG Programmes over the last number of years.

"The ONSIDE Project, with INTERREG VA funding is contributing to the achievement of almost 53,000 citizens directly benefitting from INTERREG VA projects by the end of the programme. This contribution is indeed valuable not only for beneficiaries, but also in supporting strong North South co-operation.

“The ONSIDE project, which supports persons with disabilities in the border areas to access technology and training, is a great example of how we can harness the potential of technology in realising individual lifestyle choices.

"The core objective of disability services policy is to support persons with a disability to live a life of their own choosing in their community, and to enjoy the widest possible choice in how they spend their time, and the ONSIDE project is a very practical support in this regard.

"The interactive nature of the tailored supports offered by the ONSIDE project focus on the achievement of meaningful personal outcomes for persons with disabilities."

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