Latest Laois Event: Laois Connect Programme 2023

Latest Laois Event: Laois Connect Programme 2023

Anxiety-Themed events packed out Dunamaise Arts Centre with  teenagers plus older adults 

The Laois Connects initiative  took place  throughout Laois  between the 9th & 15th October. The aim of Laois Connects is to promote Health & Wellbeing and 2023 saw a varied programme of events around mental & physical health with activities for all ages

The Dunamaise Art Centre  played host to “ Mind Yourself Day” on Thursday the 12th October which saw a programme of events for young and old throughout the day, starting with a panel discussion around mental health with Leona McManus, Clinical Manager with Jigsaw Laois Offaly, Broadcaster Anne Marie Kelly, Ailish Dunne, former Paralympian and Colm Begley of laois Gaa and the GPA. This discussion set the full attendance of students up for the screening of the Lakelands movie, which was a great choice for the programme, and explores the challenges faced by the main character, Cian.

Outdoor events throughout the week ranged included Tai Chi in Portlaoise

The afternoon was organised by Age Friendly Laois and featured three presentations- the first being a presentation and talk on managing anxiety  Aine Davin & Patrice Leech de Asis of the HSE psychiatry of Later Life Team . This was followed by a presentation by Lecturer and researcher Joe Tierney of Technological University of the Shannon , Athlone – the presentation challenged the perceptions of age and highlighted abilities of older people and their continued engagement in activities into their 60’s,  70s and even 80s. 

Janice  O Brien of LOETB gave a presentation on Nutrition for Older Adults, and had a very good Q and A session throughout answering questions around healthy cooking, nutrition and more.

The evening saw a Parenting Webinar presented by Richard Hogan of the parenting and technology institute, which was very informative and focussed on “ Parenting the Tech Savvy Child” . Richard offered some very practical advice and tips on navigating this area, which is such a big topic for today’s parents.

The evening was rounded off with a Mindfullnes Gallery Tour of the Dunamaise Arts Centre, with Laura Dunne and  a sound meditation class by the Golden Egg Holistic Clinic  which was fully subscribed . Participants were treated to an hour of rest and relaxation on their mats and blankets as the sound washed over them.

Outdoor events throughout the week ranged included Tai Chi in Portlaoise

 Outdoor events throughout the week ranged from Tai Chi in Portlaoise, Abbeyleix and Portarlington, which were organised by the sports and recreation section of Laois County Council and walks across the county by the wonderful walking groups we have in the county were well attended.  Laois PPN led a walk on world mental health day in the beautiful surroundings of  Dunmore Woods in Durrow. 

Laois Sports Partnership were in the great outdoors too during the week with their activator poles programme . These took place at Derryounce, Portarlington and were suitable to all abilities. The activator poles walking programme is something that Laois Sports Partnership do throughout the year in various locations and to get involved contact Catriona at 086 7935234

There was plenty to do indoors too and events were organised by the various providers around mental health , inclusion , aging , and nutrition.

Laois Sports Partnership provided Mental Health talks from Ross King in three secondary schools in Laois, and these proved popular with students and teachers alike. On the 12th October, a large attendance enjoyed their multi activity programme for all abilities in St Marys Hall , Portlaoise. 

On World Mental Health Day, Portlaoise Family Resource Centre organised a mindfulness morning. For the crafty people , there were willow weaving classes in Portlaoise Library, where people made their own bird feeder for the winter- these were organised by the Sports & Recreation section of Laois County Council

Champion Boxer Eric Donovan from Athy delivered his “ Redemption Story “ talk at Portlaoise College , organised by Laois Sports Partnership with a message of hope and resilience for attendees. Eric endured his own challenges and emerged stronger and as a champion. The crowd in attendance thoroughly enjoyed what was a very good and uplifting talk. 

For more info or to To join any of these groups mentioned, check out the programme for Laois Connects at where you will find contact numbers for these and for many other groups and support services in Laois