50 years to the day after the last passenger train journey between Waterford and Dungarvan the line is back in action, this time as Ireland’s longest greenway. Stretching 46 km from Waterford City to Dungarvan this off road paved path is suitable for all ages and abilities. The route takes walkers and cyclists from the River Suir in Waterford City all the way to the sea in Dungarvan through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Ireland.
As Sport Ireland chief executive, and Olympic silver medallist, John Treacy said: “Having a world-class facility like the Greenway, with its beautiful vista and fantastic amenities, will encourage and provide opportunities to people of all ages, the length and breadth of Waterford, to get out and get active”. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves John! So get out there and make the most of this wonderful amenity.
For children theGreenway Hunt has lots of exciting activities and things to look out for on their Waterford Greenway adventure.
And if you are still not convinced check out this fantastic video!
The Greenway Code is a reminder to be considerate of other greenway users and to work together to keep the Waterford Greenway a special place, where people are kind to each other and to the environment.
We hope you get out and enjoy the Waterford Greenway as often as you can. Why not show us your favourite places to get out and get active using the hashtags #healthywaterford and #waterfordgreenwayon facebook and twitter.
Healthy Waterford was delighted to welcome the Minister for Health Promotion, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, T.D recently. The Minister visited to recognise Waterford’s involvement in the World Health Organization Healthy Cities Project over the past seven years and to present a certificate of accreditation to the National Healthy Cities and Counties of Ireland Network. The certificate was accepted on behalf of Waterford City and County Council by the Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Adam Wyse and Michael Walsh, CEO, Waterford City and County Council.
With the significant development in 2013 of Healthy Ireland – the National Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing – the WHO Healthy Cities model has been identified as the way to develop key partnerships at the local level to implement Healthy Ireland. Healthy Ireland aims to shift the focus to prevention of diseases, seeks to reduce health inequalities, and emphasises the need to empower people and communities to better look after their own health and wellbeing.
Minister Corcoran Kennedy, T.D., congratulated Waterford City and County Council on having the vision to be involved in the WHO Healthy Cities for the past seven years and for making a commitment to work to become healthier places for all. Minister Corcoran Kennedy added that “as a former elected member of a Local Authority I know that Local Authorities are uniquely placed to bridge the gap between national policy and local implementation. I know the influence and reach that Local Authorities, in particular the recently formed Local Community Development Committees, have in every community and I see huge potential for them to contribute to building a healthier Ireland”.
Cllr. John O’Leary, who is a member of the Healthy Waterford Steering Committee, explained that “as the influences on health such as employment, environment, transport, housing, community development, and food supply are so varied and complex; to address health issues and promote good health, it is important to take a multi-agency approach. Healthy Waterford provides this focus and space”. Cllr. O’Leary added that “it is great for Waterford to receive this recognition of the work being undertaken. Some key areas being progressed, as a direct result of our involvement with the WHO programme, include health literacy, social prescribing, #kindwaterford mental health and wellbeing initiative and the annual Mayor’s Health Week”.
Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Adam Wyse thanked the members of the Healthy Waterford Steering Committee for their commitment to the project stating that “building relationships and strengthening partnerships were critical to developing a truly Healthy Waterford”. Cllr. Wyse added “I look forward to further supporting the development of the project in Waterford.
Fiona Donovan, who is coordinator of the National Healthy Cities and Counties of Ireland Network commended Waterford for ‘leading the way in promoting health and wellbeing through social innovation, for example #kindwaterford, and also reducing health inequalities through improving health literacy. Adapting the National Health and Wellbeing Framework – Healthy Ireland – to the local context – Healthy Waterford – through engagement with local agencies, community groups and most importantly the people of Waterford, is critical for real change to promote and improve the health and wellbeing of all in Waterford”.
In addition to Waterford City and County Council, Galway City Council and Cork City Council have also received certificates of accreditation for their involvement in the WHO Healthy Cities Project, ten and seven years respectively. The first counties in Ireland to receive accreditation to the National Healthy Cities and Counties Network are South Dublin County and County Offaly.
Healthy Waterford will host a half day seminar on social prescribing on Friday 31 March 2017 in Waterford City. This seminar is an opportunity to learn about the concept of social prescribing, explore models of social prescribing, and hear about social prescribing from a Waterford perspective.
The Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Waterford, Cllr. Eamon Quinlan was joined by Waterford Marine Search and Rescue to launch Kind Waterford project, an initiative of Mayor’s Health Week 2016, taking place from 7th – 14th May.
The aim of Kind Waterford is to encourage kindness as a means of promoting and raising awareness of positive mental health and wellbeing and reducing the stigma attached to mental health issues and ultimately support emotional resilience in our communities. This project aims to raise the energy of Waterford City and County by focusing on the benefits of kindness – where we treat ourselves and others with kindness and promote positive mental health and well-being.
Throughout April, during the build up to Mayor’s Health Week, preschools, primary and secondary schools and community groups are invited to put together a project, in any medium, showing how kindness can improve our mental health and wellbeing and how we can be kind to ourselves and others in our communities for their chance to win a ‘Buddy Bench’.
Speaking about the initiative Cllr. Quinlan said ‘this is our opportunity show those that we do business with and those that visit Waterford that we serious about promoting positive mental health and well-being and of taking care of ourselves and our community. He also added that he was delighted to be part of such an initiative and he hoped that all the communities of Waterford would come together and get involved. He asked that everyone, during April, to treat themselves and others with kindness and tell us all about it on social media using the hash tag #kindwaterford.
Cllr. Quinlan also wanted to acknowledge the contribution made by the many volunteers in Waterford, such as those involved in Waterford Marine Search and Rescue, who work tirelessly to promote our well-being. Waterford Marine Search and Rescue were established in 2010 and provide Waterford city and county with a 24 hour, 365 days-a-year search, rescue and recovery service. Staffed entirely by volunteers they also carry out suicide prevention patrol on the River Suir every weekend. Since they were established 24 people have been rescued from the waters of the River Suir and 70 people have been prevented from entering the river with the intention of taking their life.
The Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Waterford Councillor Eamon Quinlan held a reception in the Mayor’s Parlour to mark Waterford’s designation as a World Health Organisation healthy city under Phase VI of the European Network of Healthy Cities programme. He also unveiled the Healthy Waterford plan for 2015-2018.
This WHO designation marks Waterford’s continued participation in the European Healthy Cities programme which goes back to 2010 when Waterford as the first city in Ireland to be awarded this status. The Mayor noted that ‘ as one of only three cities in Ireland and 100 in Europe this shows Waterford’s commitment to the health and well-being of all who live, work and study here’
The mayor continued, “Good health includes not just our physical well-being but also our mental and social well-being.It is greatly influenced by the circumstances in which we live and therefore it is essential we all work together.” The mayor also added that he’s looking forward to the opportunity to promote this idea through Mayor’s Health Week in 2016.
The aim of Healthy Waterford is to drive local action and promote local leadership for health and ensure Waterford City and County is a healthy, equitable, resilient and vibrant place for all who live, work and visit here.According to the Mayor this will be achieved through “the involvement of all sectors – statutory, voluntary, business and community.” He also added ‘we want Waterford to be a great place to live for everyone, whatever their means and whatever their stage in life’’.
Joe Stokes Chair of the Healthy Waterford Steering Committee said “The WHO European Network of Healthy Cities provides a robust framework under which to promote health as a priority for all organisations in Waterford.Mr. Stokes also added that that Healthy Waterford Action Plan 2015-2018 identifies our priorities going forward and we are committed to applying these principles to Waterford City & County. The Healthy Waterford Plan is based on five goals:
Support people to be healthy throughout their lives.
Address major public health challenges.
Strengthen people-centred health systems and support ‘participatory governance’ for health where people play a more direct role in decision making.
Create resilient communities and supportive environments that allow communities to respond well to challenges and provide opportunities for its members to live healthy lives.
Support local leadership for health and recognition of the importance of health in social and economic development among stakeholders in Waterford.
The Mayor extended a special thanks to Kate Moloney, Healthy Waterford Coordinator and the Healthy Waterford Steering Committee who include representatives of the HSE, Waterford City and County Council, and Waterford Area Partnership, Waterford Childcare Committee, Waterford Sports Partnership, Waterford Public Participation Network and the Community Health Network.
You can find more information on Healthy Waterford initiatives and download a copy of our action plan at www.healthywaterford.ie. Follow us on Twitter @HealthWaterford and Facbook.com/waterfordhealthycity or contact the Healthy Waterford Coordinator Kate Moloney firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.