Sunday 22 July 2018

Blarney Wellfest set to help put minds at ease

Bill Browne

The key to connecting communities is bringing their individual strands together under one single umbrella to help bolster a greater sense of community spirit and individual well-being.

That is the ethos behind an event taking place in Blarney on Sunday, which its organisers hope will provide a blueprint for communities across Cork to follow. 

Organised by Bethan O'Riordan and Pat Murphy of the Blarney Wellness Centre, the inaugural Blarney Wellfest will run from 11am-4pm at the Blarney Secondary School. 

It will feature a packed programme of fun and informative free workshops covering a range of health-related topics including Indian head massage, acupuncture, kinesiology and aromatherapy. Stands erected on the day will also promote locally-based arts, craft and hobby related groups. 

Bethan said she would like to see the initiative replicated in other towns and villages across the county. 

"We are living in bigger houses than ever before, yet we are more distant from each other and society is struggling because of that. So the answer is relatively simple: bring people together. There is so much talk and so many slogans about mental health, but this event is action," said Bethan. 

"We are the only ones that can help ourselves and we hope that this event will provide the links for how that may look," she added. 

Pat said the idea was that people can see what is happening in the area so that people will know what supports are available to help "support their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being, particularly during times of crisis". 

"Like many communities, we have experienced much sadness, grief and loss in the last couple of years. This event is about coming together, meeting people, and offering hope for the future, and of course some good nattering over tea and sandwiches," she grinned.

"We want people to become aware of what's going on in their area, so people can help themselves, not just when in a crisis but in the normal life stuff. Crucially we would like people to realise they have the tools to help themselves and that we are better together," said Pat. 

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