Vhi joined by local students to launch wellbeing fund

galway daily news vhi wellbing fund launch
Young people from the Venture Out Wildness Project join Vhi to launch ‘Vhi Health & Wellbeing Fund’. Photo:Andrew Downes, xposure.

Students at St Paul’s Secondary School in Oughterard who participated in the Venture Out Wilderness Project have helped launch this year’s Vhi Health & Wellbeing Fund.

Established in 2020 in partnership with the Irish Youth Foundation (IYF), the Fund is dedicated to supporting young people’s health and wellbeing.

Non-profit organisations based in Galway have been invite to apply, after Venture Out received €10,000 in last year’s fund.

It supports projects which aim to strengthen resilience in young people aged 12 to 25, and help them manage anxiety.

In the last two years, 22 youth focused organisations across the country have been awarded grants for a range of projects.

To date, over 4,000 young people have been directly impacted through the fund, with just under 200,000 young people indirectly benefitting from the initiative.

It is open to applications from non-profit and charitable organisations who work directly with young people or with adults who surround them. Grants of €5,000 and €10,000 will be available through the Fund.

In addition to making funding available, Vhi are introducing a pilot programme for youth leaders focusing on trauma informed care and worker wellbeing.

Speaking at the launch, Karen Blake, Client Relationship Manager, Vhi Healthcare, said they want their customers to live longer, stronger, healthier lives – but they also want the local communities to have the opportunity to achieve this goal too.

“With this in mind it was great to be joined by Venture Out and young people from St Pauls School in Oughterard to launch this year’s Vhi Health and Wellbeing Fund.

“This is our third year of the Fund and the impact it has had on participants in Galway and beyond has been inspiring to see with every young person supported by the Fund over the last two years gaining the opportunity to better understand how to manage their own health and wellbeing while also developing skills to help them navigate feelings of anxiety when they face them. I’d encourage all eligible organisations to apply for the fund.”

Last year Venture Out Wilderness Project in Galway received €10,000 in funding to design and deliver a creative school-based programme for young boys and men, aiming to promote their health and wellbeing, while also addressing issues around what it is to be a man in today’s world.

Speaking about the impact of the programme Barry Dillon, Programme Manager, Venture Out Wilderness Project in Galway, said: “We were delighted to receive the funding last year through the ‘Vhi Health and Wellbeing Fund’.

“With the funding we were able to deliver almost 40 workshops and engage 500+ young people in schools right across Galway. Our programme was designed to focus on supporting young men and it has been amazing to see how they have responded to the programme and embraced the outdoor nature of the activities we undertook with them.

“It has also been really rewarding to hear about the impact of the programme from the young people’s teachers and families and, hopefully, through this experience they’ve developed skills they’ll take with them through life. I would encourage anyone working with young people in Galway with an idea to apply.”