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Ashes to Gold & Henderson's Pharmacy

BCCP project

A life changing programme

Ashes to Gold provides support to the community within the Causeway Coast and Glens area with the aim of increasing their confidence, motivation and self-belief while learning new skills.

The group applied for Level Two funding from BCPP and was awarded £10,000 for this much needed project with the intention of combating loneliness and providing information and support around living better on a daily basis. The project also aimed to increase awareness of the vast number of support organisations who were available to help.

Ashes to Gold had previously worked with Pharmacist Evan Reid during a Level One BCPP project and the participants felt that the programme had been life changing. They still go to Evan for support and advice regularly demonstrating the strong relationships which were formed. All members of the group had varying issues and came from different walks of life. Some members had experienced anxiety due to benefit changes, food poverty, health issues and addiction.

Sessions were delivered over a number of weeks with workshops from St John’s Ambulance, Cancer Focus NI, CRUSE Bereavement and other support organisations. Gardening featured as a therapy and also to support the session on healthy eating. Even with only a balcony or small garden, the participants realised how much they could grow! One of the participants was diabetic and said the programme helped him to change his life through simply learning about healthy eating. He lost over a stone in weight, does not need to use his walking aid and feels much better. What an outcome in such a short space of time!

Members of the group were very open, demonstrating the trust that had built up between each other and also between them and the Pharmacist. One participant told us “Evan is very committed to helping his community and feels that through these sessions, he can give this help and give people hope. He has supported people through many difficult issues which were impacting on their health.”

Alastair Christie, Programme Manager told us “The BCPP programme allowed our clients to develop their relationship with the Pharmacist. Most of our clients have mental health issues, are lonely, lack confidence and communication skills. To see them interacting with each other, talking about their own experiences and the topic of the day with the Pharmacist proved how much they have achieved through coming to the programme.” 

"I lacked confidence participating in groups and also dealing with a Doctor or Pharmacist. Coming to this programme has taught me how to interact with people in a group and not to feel intimidated by a Pharmacist. Evan was so easy to talk to and helped me with my medication."

Project Participant

"I really enjoyed working alongside the team at Ashes to Gold. The work that they do with vulnerable adults is invaluable. I believe as a result of BCPP and also Ashes to Gold’s rapport with one of the group members who was dealing with a difficult issue, there was a positive outcome. A very worthwhile project."

Evan Reid, Pharmacist