The Community Development and Health Network (CDHN) is Northern Ireland’s leading organisation working to empower communities and tackle health inequalities using community development.

Women's Tec and Crossin's Chemist - another successful BCPP project

CDHN recently celebrated funding its 800th project through the BCPP Programme. To date, CDHN has invested £5.3 million in grants on behalf of the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) to tackle health inequalities.  It was celebrations all round, as this milestone coincided with the HSCB announcement that CDHN was successful in its bid to continue the delivery of the BCPP Programme.

Women’s Tec and Pharmacist Kevin McDevitt from Crossin’s Chemist were the two partners in this 800th project.  Women’s Tec provides nontraditional training courses to women such as carpentry and plumbing and has a great reputation for engaging women who are vulnerable and have experienced some level of crisis in their lives.  

Kevin, the pharmacist, met with the group at the beginning of the project.  Together they drew up a plan for the interactive sessions and topics they wished to cover including mental health, the role of the pharmacist, prescription medication and women’s health.  AWARE came along to one of the sessions and together with Kevin, spoke to the women about mental health and outlined the valuable support they currently offer.
  
The project was very successful and had a positive impact on members in terms of confidence. At the start of the project only 40% of participants felt confident going to the pharmacist for advice and by the end of the project, every participant felt confident doing this. The project also had a positive impact on the participants’ mental health.  At the beginning of the project, eight participants had poor psychological wellbeing and this was reduced to four participants by the end. 
 
One participant said ‘I felt that this course acted as a vital link between individuals who were struggling with personal situations and information sources where they could gain invaluable support and advice. The pharmacist had a wealth of knowledge and he had so much time to speak with me and other members of the group.’

At a celebratory event, representatives from the Department of Health, HSCB, Pharmacy Forum, Community Pharmacy NI and BCPP projects heard first hand about the project from the women themselves.
Kathy Martin, Strategic Impact Manager, CDHN, said “We are delighted to celebrate this achievement and showcase the excellent work that our projects do. It was a great opportunity to hear the experiences of BCPP participants and highlighted the importance of delivering services locally. ”