CoH-Sync initiative praised in independent review

A Community Health Programme in Donegal, Monaghan and Cavan has been praised in an independent assessment published today.

CoH-Sync, the Community Health Synchronisation project, is facilitated through the cross border health body CAWT, and operated by Donegal Local Development Company and sister groups in Monaghan and Cavan.

Two Community Health Facilitators were employed in Donegal and one in the other two counties, working directly 4,000 people to improve their health and well-being over the project’s four year duration.

Anne McAteer is the region’s Health Promotion Manager……..


Press release in full –

Cross border project improves the health and well-being of thousands of people in border counties

An independent report has commended the work of community partners in the counties of Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan for their delivery of an EU funded project called Community Health Synchronisation (CoH-Sync).  Facilitated through CAWT (Co-operation and Working Together) – which this year marks 30 years of cross border health partnership – almost 4,000 people across the target counties throughout the border region, have been directly supported to improve their health and well-being over the project’s four year duration.

Donegal Local Development Company (DLDC) in partnership with Monaghan Integrated Development and Cavan County Local Development successfully established two CoH-Sync Hubs in Donegal and one in Cavan/Monaghan.  All three Hubs employed Community Health Facilitators.

Each participant in the programme was supported by a Community Health Facilitator to develop and action their own Health and Well-being Plan. This enabled people to take health into their own hands by identifying areas in their lifestyle, such as smoking cessation, alcohol consumption, improved nutrition or increased physical activity, which needed to be modified in order to improve their overall health status.

Participants benefitted from a wide range of classes and activities including physical activity classes, online cookery classes, mindfulness, life coaching, online book clubs, creative writing classes, art and craft tutorials.

The report highlights how well the CoH-Sync Hubs adjusted to the Covid-19 pandemic providing important and much needed support and assistance to many people, particularly when their mental health and well-being was more vulnerable.

Speaking on behalf of the CAWT Partnership, Bill Forbes, Director General, said: “The CoH-Sync project was embedded in cross-border communities, working with, and through, existing local organisations and initiatives. This person and community-centred approach to health and well-being, which was the basis for the CoH-Sync project, has significant potential to improve outcomes for individuals, support the development of resilient communities and, over time, help reduce demand on formal health and social care services.” He added: “We are appreciative of the funding support received from the EU INTERREG VA programme to deliver this successful project.”

Commenting on the success of CoH-Sync, Anne McAteer, Health Promotion & Improvement Manager, Health & Wellbeing, HSE Community Healthcare Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo said: “I am delighted that the HSE was able to secure three CoH-Sync Hubs for the border areas of Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan. There has been such a positive response to the services provided by the Hubs, with many people valuing the personalised support offered by the Community Health Facilitators, which enabled them to make achievable and sustainable lifestyle changes for improved health outcomes.  

“The CoH-Sync Project is in keeping with Healthy Ireland and is already informing future activities to improve health and well-being across HSE Community Healthcare Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo.

Padraic Fingleton, CEO, (DLDC), added: “DLDC was delighted to deliver the CAWT CoH-Sync project across Donegal from two local Hubs.  We ensured that the CoH-Sync services were accessible within all communities and the project was a real support and lifeline to many people, in particular during the height of the Covid pandemic. During the project’s operation, our Community Health Facilitators provided health and well-being programmes to hundreds of people across the county. We will continue to seek new ways to support people to improve their health.”


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