What is Fit for Work and Life?

The Irish Cancer Society’s Community Cancer Prevention team and the North Wall Community Development Programme have been working together since November 2012 to support the spread the positive news to communities that up to 50% of cancers can be prevented through making healthy lifestyle choices.

They created Fit for Work and Life, a workshop style, community education programme which runs over the course of 12 weeks. The purpose of the programme is to help participants to navigate their way through the many confusing and often conflicting messages about health and what it means to lead a healthy lifestyle. 

We aim to separate the facts from the fiction and provide good information on behaviours and issues that can influence our health, as well as helpful tips so that participants can decide how they can make the healthy choice the easy choice. 

The Irish Cancer Society has designed a 12 week health and wellbeing programme based on the European Code against Cancer and the Ottawa Charter of Health Promotion. The purpose of the programme is to build participants’ understanding of the importance of health and keeping well for their family and their working lives. It gives information how to spot cancer early by knowing what the signs and symptoms of cancer are. 

To make sure that people in the community know about the services and supports available to them we have taken a partnership approach with local community agencies and service providers to deliver the programme in communities, in a flexible and supportive way. We do this by training local people who live and work in their community to an accredited standard and support them to deliver the programmes to members of their community through existing community services. 

Programme partners including the North Wall Community Development Programme, Irish Institute of Training & Development, the National Screening Service, Alcohol Action Ireland, Education & Training Board and the Men’s Development Network have supported the development of the programme. Local delivery partners include Coolmine Therapeutic community, Swan Youth Services, ACRG, NCI home School Liaison Team, and Lourdes Day care centre.
The pilot programme was delivered in 2014 with thanks to funding from Bord Gáis Eireann.

The programme has been incorporated into the North Wall Community Development Programme’s first Accredited Employability Skills Programme, the Local Training Initiative (LTI). Phase 2 of this programme is now being rolled out with thanks to the Medtronic Healthy Communities Fund.

For further information on the programme or to discuss partnership opportunities please contact Joanne Vance jvance@irishcancer.ie or phone 01-2310500.