Five Ways to Wellbeing Celebration Event held at the Ulster American Folk Park

20/06/2018

Five Ways to Wellbeing Celebration Event held at the Ulster American Folk ParkThe Western Trust in partnership with Ulster Museums NI recently held a celebration event to mark the completion of the Five Ways to Wellbeing programme at the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh.

The Awards for All National Lottery grant supported project which ran from October 2017 until June 2018 is based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing, delivering informal and enjoyable activities founded on Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. People from the Western Trust area were invited to take part supported by the Community Recovery Mental Health teams from Strabane and Omagh along with Ulster American Folk Park staff, Hillside Mental Health Day Care, Strabane and the staff and volunteers from the Trust’s Recovery College.

Carol Quinn, Strabane Mental Health Recovery Team Manager for the Western Trust talked about the success of the programme held at the Ulster American Folk Park, she explained: “A varied programme was developed based on participants’ interests and each month everyone met up in a gentle, social environment, learning more about traditional crafts, enjoying each other’s company and having some fun.  The programme also focused on the principles of Recovery with practical sessions on living with mental illness and promoting mental health wellbeing.  Delivered by people with lived experience of mental health issues alongside those with professional experience and knowledge, everyone benefitted from this friendly and warm approach to learning. The Christmas Party was a highlight of the programme, as was the excursion to the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, where everyone climbed on the heritage bus and visited the rural area of the Museum at Cultra.

“Memory books were compiled each month with photographs, recipes, information cards, poems and thoughts from each session with the idea that when the programme finished, participants could look back on their experiences and it might lift their mood on a dull day!

“The memory books were presented to all participants by Carol Quinn, Strabane Mental Health Recovery Manager and Catherine McCullough, Head of Learning and Partnership, Ulster American Folk Park at the event.

Carol added: “Feedback from this specially-devised programme was overwhelmingly positive, with everyone - including Western Trust and Museum staff - enjoying meeting up, working together and getting to know one another.

Participants comments included: “I really look forward to the sessions each month – they’re a real highlight of my month! This experience has given me the confidence to be involved in more activities in my area.”

“This demonstrates how working in a new way with outside agencies can provide interesting learning and social experiences for both service users and staff.”