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Developing understanding...taking action

Cornabracken Afterschool Community Interest Company (CIC) is based in Omagh and provides integrated and affordable childcare in an environment that assists and enriches the children’s development, education, life opportunities and enjoyment.

Partnering with Brookmount Pharmacy, the Afterschool service received £12,000 to run a Level 2 BCPP project with parents of the children around mental health, anxiety, isolation, loneliness and poverty. The aim of the project was to bring local pharmacy and community together to reduce health inequalities and improve health literacy in the local area. Developing a deeper understanding of the social factors that influence health and taking action on these factors was also core to this BCPP project.

Pharmacists Stephen Johns and Catherine Canavan worked with the group of 12 to co-design the programme and plan innovative and interactive sessions around areas of concern and issues currently facing the group members. The aim was to expand the circle of support available locally through community and voluntary sector organisations and also the pharmacy.

On one evening, the group concentrated on mental and physical First Aid. Using the fantastic literature available from Aware Defeat Depression and Action Mental Health, the group developed effective and manageable strategies to protect and enhance their health and wellbeing. As part of this session, the Pharmacists presented First Aid boxes from the pharmacy.

I got so much out of this BCPP project including parenting advice from Parenting NI alongside really good advice from Brookmount Pharmacy. If I was to pick the session I benefitted most from, it would have been when Pharmacists Stephen and Catherine conducted the health checks. It was great peace of mind to get my cholesterol and blood pressure checked.’

Project Participant

An invaluable workshop was delivered by Parenting NI while another session was spent with Sinead demonstrating the Informed Minds App and sharing tips and tools around daily self-care. The App allows users to tap into real life vlogs from local people who have been through different life stresses and vlogs from multidisciplinary professionals sharing their pearls of wisdom around maintaining good mental health every day. The group was so impressed with the App and subsequently trialled a subscription so they could continue to invest in their own health and wellbeing.


‘As an organisation, we have been overwhelmed with how successful our BCPP project has been. With full attendance at each session, our participants established lasting and trusting bonds with each other and, indeed, the Pharmacists. We were extremely fortunate to have Pharmacists Stephen and Catherine in attendance at all sessions – the pair brought with them a wealth of knowledge and expertise which our group benefitted immensely from in regard to the enhancement of their physical and mental wellbeing. As an organisation, we were so delighted to have been able to offer the project to our parents, at a time when it was most needed.’

Melanie O’Kane, Cornabracken CIC 

This BCPP project enabled the group members to improve their sense of connectedness and belonging, they developed new skills, knowledge and experience during and upon completion of the project. The final night was a night of celebration, with the participants receiving a wellbeing health pack from the Pharmacists and interacting with an amazing speaker from a local Mental Health Charity with one participant commenting ‘such a very enjoyable project and evening for all!’

Brookmount Pharmacy worked in close collaboration with Melanie and the Cornabracken team to deliver a really worthwhile, effective and purposeful project. The participants really enjoyed the sessions and the sense of community cohesion shone throughout. As a pharmacist operating within the community, I feel it is crucial to establish trusting relationships with our community members. The project was a real success and our key objective - to establish and build physical and mental wellbeing - was met throughout.’

Stephen Johns, Pharmacist