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Connect 5 Athy offers FREE online Health Coaching in 2024.

The Royal College of Surgeons Ireland (RCSI) University of Medicine and Health Sciences, supported by Slaintecare Healthy Communities extend their offer of FREE Health Coaching in Athy for 2024.

A Health and Wellbeing showcase took place on Saturday 13th January in the ARCH, Athy. Members of the community heard of the positive impact the Health Coach App, Connect 5 Athy had on the Health and Wellbeing of local participants in 2023. Information was shared on what is involved in Health Coaching and those in attendance were given the opportunity to sign up for free to the project which will recommence in March 2024.

Dr.Padraic Dunne, Centre for Positive Health Sciences at RCSI and lead researcher on the Connect 5 Athy Project explained how health isn’t “ just about your body”. Dr.Dunne emphasised that being healthy involves and is supported by factors such as “your physical environment, relationships, mental health” including “financial health”.

Explaining what Health Coaching is, Croia Loughnane (PhD scholar at the RCSI Centre for Positive Health Sciences), said “Health coaching supports people to build confidence”, “healthier habits” and “provides tools and skills to achieve health goals”. Sharing the outcomes of Connect 5 Athy in 2023, Croia said participants achieved personal health goals such as “increased exercise”, “finding meaning and purpose”, “reduced GP visits”, “prioritising self-care” and “making healthier food choices”. 

Connect 5 Athy 2023 participant Petra Radford Devlin, shared her experience of the project at the event when speaking to Dr Roisin O’Donovan (RCSI). Petra spoke about why she got involved in the project “This time last year I was not in a very good place” and the difference it has made to her life, “I have a lust for life now”, noting that family members have remarked she is “back to her old self”.

Petra added how through Health Coaching she has reduced GP visits, “I used to go to the doctor’s, on average once a week. Now, it’s only really for my diabetes check-ups.” Health Coaching has also supported Petra to reconnect with her community and get back into old hobbies. “I attend the Walk and Talk group every Wednesday in Athy” adding she is “exploring art once again”. 

Supporting the roll out of this project and recruitment of participants at a local level, Maria Healy, Slaintecare Healthy Communities Local Development Officer with Kildare County Council explained how the Connect 5 Health Coach is equipped with “information on the wide range of Health and Wellbeing supports and services available within the Athy area”. Maria described how this enables the health coach to signpost participants to local supports based on their individual health goals.

Slaintecare Healthy Communities staff were present at the event to share information on programmes currently available within the local community, alongside Kildare Sports Partnership who are supporting the development of key Health and Wellbeing initiatives such as the ‘Walk and Talk’ group in Athy in collaboration with Slaintecare Healthy Communities.

Registration for Connect 5 Athy 2024 is still open and interested community members can sign up for FREE by texting 0866643006 or by email to

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