The Federation of Irish Societies

Irish Healthy Living

To develop a 3 phased activity programme, involving 3 health development workers who are recruited over three Dept of Health: Third Sector Investment Programme funding cycles (2009, 2010 & 2011) – to create a robust health development team that delivers an innovative health development programme through the Irish community.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from to




  • CancerCancer
  • Health/WellbeingHealth/Wellbeing


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



Research shows that Irish people in Britain have very poor health across a range of indicators. The Irish are an older population with a large proportion in post-pension age bands, often concentrated in Spearhead and other areas of serious disadvantage, in poor housing on low incomes. The Irish community in Britain have the highest rates of cancer, among the highest incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, suicide and mental illness in the population. There are high levels of limiting long term illness at all ages and particularly among men who are forced to exit the labour market prematurely because of ill-health. Many if not most of these health deficits are preventable, while others could be managed more effectively if detected early and treated appropriately. However, empirical evidence and anecdotal experience, identifies sections of the Irish community who are reluctant to utilise statutory health services. There are particular problems around uptake of screening, health promotion and early intervention for a range of treatable conditions. The project seeks to initiate a programme of activity that creates a grassroots health development programme through centralised community coordination, which generates • strategic engagement and campaigning that encourages people to address their health needs through being involved in decision making processes • a prevention agenda – measurable and applicable to Irish (other) communities at geographic, demographic and ‘generation’ levels • a health business model – supporting community networks that is sustainable, cascading and identifies health action planning opportunities at national, regional, local and individual levels • health responsibility and awareness – by using trusted community network providers to develop Irish people’s health awareness, identify needs and deliver interaction with statutory and non-statutory health campaigns • coordination of trusted providers and community advocates to engage in decision making and ensure cultural sensitivity in health policy and campaign development/implementation • Irish engagement through community champions and leadership; health volunteering and specialist health support from within the Irish community to support health related research, consultation and communication, in addition to supporting practical delivery of health campaigns i.e. community self help through professional volunteering and leadership. The project seeks to develop three workers on a rolling three year business model - the cost is £165k per annum or £500k to support a 3 year programme..