Garden project means better heart health for Traveller men
2017-08-04 10:31:31 -
By Staff Reporter

Pavee Point launched its Community Hearts Day at the Abigail Centre in Finglas on 26 July.

The day is a celebration of the work done by the Traveller men involved in developing their knowledge and skills in improving their health and well-being through cultivating a dedicated garden. 

It is also an opportunity to share with the wider community the process of improving the lives of Travellers that is taking place through the Community Heart Garden, undertaken by Pavee Point in partnership with the Irish Heart Foundation.

Participants have researched and developed a garden that grows a variety of fruit, vegetables and herbs while also attending courses and work experience that will give them particular qualifications in horticulture, communication literacy and computer skills. 

“It’s a garden but it is so much more,” says Pavee Point’s Michael Collins. “It has given Traveller men the space and support to grow.”

“We know that Traveller men have poorer health outcomes than the general population so this project can empower Travellers to improve their health and wellbeing,” added Andy O’Hara of the centre for Ireland’s Travellers and Roma.

According to the recent All Ireland Traveller Health Study, the life expectancy of Traveller men is still 15 years less than the general population. Heart disease and stroke account for 25 per cent of Traveller deaths, and Traveller men are seven times more likely to die by suicide.

The garden project – which is also backed by the City of Dublin Education and Training Board – has improved the mental, social, physical and spiritual health of those involved, the centre adds.
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