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Women's Centre Derry and Bradley's Pharmacy

Health Awareness Promotes Inclusion (HAPI) Programme

Women’s Centre Derry aims to combat poverty and promote prosperity in disadvantaged communities through empowerment and education. The Centre provides a safe, secure and enabling environment for women and supports them to achieve their full potential.

Along with Bradley’s Pharmacy, the Women’s Centre applied for BCPP Level 2 funding of £10,000 to run a Heath Awareness Promotes Inclusion (HAPI) programme. The need for this BCPP project was identified by the women – some felt isolated at home with their baby and wished to meet parents in similar situations, others wanted to avail of activities to enable them to better support their babies’ health and to build positive healthy relationships with their babies. They felt that there was not any other programme in their community which brings parents together to deal with health issues and the fears they shared as parents.

The project was awarded funding and decided to work with two core groups of 15 women which included new mums, teenage mums and pregnant women. A programme of activity for each group was planned based on consultation with the women. They decided on a programme which would include sessions on financial advice, child speech and language, sleep deprivation, mental health awareness, healthy eating, nutrition and weaning.

Rachel Dunne, Pharmacist with Bradley’s Pharmacy, delivered sessions around smoking cessation, managing your medications, healthy eating and the minor ailments scheme. Dover House presented extensive financial information and advice to the women while Derry City & Strabane Council worked with the group on child safety and proofing the home for children under five. The programme included a joint parent and baby session on rhythm and rhyme to promote speech and language skills. The women also took part in a crafts session linked to reducing stress and increasing wellbeing.

Margaret Logue, Director of Women’s Centre said ‘Delivering the HAPI programme has been both useful and worthwhile for our Centre. Evaluation and feedback have demonstrated that engaging with the participants and their children has made us more effective in meeting the needs of young women and mothers in our community. The programme has improved our knowledge of community pharmacy services and working with the other community support organisations has made signposting to different services much more effective. It has been wonderful to see the women in the groups grow in confidence, build relationships with each other and build a longer term relationship with the Centre too.’

The feedback from the group was excellent, one saying ‘I learnt a lot and I feel like it didn’t just benefit my child, but me too, I have become so much more confident’. Another said ‘I did not know you could just get a consultation from the pharmacist, I always got on to my GP, now I’ll definitely think about going to the pharmacy first if I am sick.’ Rachel Dunne, Pharmacist for this programme said her experience of a BCPP project with this group was a very positive one and she hoped to engage with the programme again in the future.

It’s great to see the mums in the group get some time for themselves and make new friendships. By engaging with the group on a weekly basis, I have been able to see what topics they are interested in and this has enabled me to broaden my knowledge and branch out from my every day role in community pharmacy.

Rachel Dunne, Pharmacist

I loved meeting other mothers and learning from different experiences, finding out about the Pharmacy First programme and gaining knowledge on so many different topics such as weaning, mental health, first aid and baby development.

Project Participant