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County Carlow has lots to offer as part of ‘In This Together’ campaign

Carlow County Council through its own cultural and community services are offering a range of activities and resources as part of a new “In This Together” initiative, launched recently by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Working in partnership with the County Carlow Community Response Forum, the Public Participation Network and VISUAL, the aim of the project locally is to deliver and co-create experiences for people during these challenging times.

The campaign aims to help everyone in Ireland to Stay Connected, Stay Active, and look after their Mental Health throughout the Covid-19 Emergency.

The Campaign encourages everyone to set a new daily activity which helps them to feel a little healthier or a little happier as we deal with Covid-19. It signposts useful advice to help people of every age group to cope with the ongoing restrictions, whether they are looking after children, dealing with self-isolation, preparing for the Leaving Cert, or coping with cabin fever.

In This Together draws together a huge range of activities that you can pursue in your home or your locality, by yourself or with family members or with friends online. There are ideas and activities for people of all ages. Just some highlights include opportunities to:

• Engage with the Arts Office on a number of projects which include working with Carlow families on an arts and self-care drawing project, a traditional song project, on-line creative writing classes and an intergenerational storybook project . Also take the opportunity for young people 11-18 year olds to engage with County Carlow Youth Theatre each Monday to learn drama skills and to share ideas

• Engage with Carlow County Council Culture Team on a number of Creative Ireland projects that enable creativity in every community throughout Carlow

• Get involved with Take A Part Carlow on a revival of the Scallion Ater project and Music Generation Carlow to enjoy music

• Join the library from the comfort & safety of your home to access eBooks, eAudiobooks, digital magazines, newspapers, online courses & a language learning app.
• Engage with Carlow Sports Partnership for a range of resources to support local participation in sport and physical activity, adapted to meet COVID-19 guidelines, including online exercise classes and fitness video library, tutor-led fitness programmes tailored to the needs of communities and publications that will be made available through the library, local newspaper and post for those who are not online.

• Access information through Carlow Sports Partnership on volunteer support and club development and online coach education with information on how to link in the national governing body supports.

• Download booklets from Carlow Sports Partnership to support community well-being, e.g. Nature on Your Doorstep, Walk to Jog and Older Adult Exercise publications.

• Be Part of the Local Hero’s Story Competition &Carlow Creative Kids competition with Carlow LEO Facebook

• Take part in free online skills training from the Local Enterprise Office

• Take part in online workshops for Volunteers provided by Carlow Public Participation Network.

• Be supported by Carlow Regional Youth Services providing Follaine Counselling Service supported by Healthy Ireland to provide listening services for young people

• Reach into the past and engage with Carlow County Council Library Service to find out more about the County Digital Archive project.

• Spring into Storytime with County Carlow Libraries by taking part in online Storytime sessions with Library Staff hosted on the Library YouTube channel.

• Take a Trip into history and find out more about the days gone by of County Carlow with the team from County Carlow Museum.

Speaking about the project , Kathleen Holohan , Chief Executive of Carlow County Council said “While much of our focus in recent weeks has rightly been on protecting ourselves from the spread of Covid-19, we also need to preserve our mental wellbeing, and to promote physical health. This initiative brings together the many wonderful initiatives undertaken locally by Carlow County Council and our partners, which are complemented by the national resources and I would encourage everyone to avail of these free resources.”
Included in the programme also are projects by the innovative team at Visual which includes opportunities to experience The Irish Tree Alphabet by Katie Holten ; How to Write a Forest: a collaborative writing project by visual artist Katie Holten and poet Jessica Traynor ; The Sky is Blue: co-produced with Carlow Arts Festival. Studio and Link Gallery Exhibition ; Ghost Strata, A Film by Ben Rivers and the The Bee Diaries.
Speaking about the programme , Pat Delaney , Head of Finance with responsibility for Arts and Culture said “in the context of County Carlow one of our main cultural assets is the dynamic and creative nature of our people and there has been many examples over the years of a world class culture programme delivered” , Delaney continued to say “our culture team is collaborating with our community and amenity department to put together experiences as part of this In This Together campaign for the people of Carlow and I do hope that people come together virtually to experience same and add their collective voice to the programme”

The initiative brings together National Government, local government, Government agencies, community and voluntary sectors, and the Community Call Forums around the country.

You can find full details at www.carlow.ie and on social media by following #inthistogether #incarlow

Wellbeing initiatives right across Government are being collated and that information can be easily found on Gov.ie.