Heart of the city: D8’s healthy heart project 

In partnership with the Irish Heart Foundation, Smart D8 aims to keep Dublin 8’s heart’s pumping with a new pilot programme.

The new ‘Heart of our City’ project aims to spread awareness on ways to keep the heart healthy as well as sharing resources to improve heart health. 

“80% of heart disease is preventable; the aim of this programme is to show people how to prevent it.” 

Lucinda mcnerney, irish heart foundation patient services

Most people know what they should do to look after their hearts, but sometimes they don’t know how they should do it, Lucinda McNerney of the Irish Heart Foundation told The Liberty. 

The Smart D8 collaboration includes community organisations such as Fatima Groups United, along with programmes and companies like Exwell and Novartis, to educate and provide support within the Dublin 8 community.  

“Eighty per cent of heart disease is preventable,” says McNerney. “The aim of this programme is to show people how to prevent it.” 

There are many different resources for people struggling with heart problems. McNearney describes this project as  a “how to” guide on accessing those resources and inform them on free services such as social prescribing. 

Photo credit: Irish Heart Foundation

“A social prescriber will signpost people into what they need to help them. First, they’ll do an interview with the client and talk about what that person needs. Afterwards they can recommend different supports and social activities within the community that will benefit this person.”   

She added that, “We should all fit in regular exercise of at least 30 minutes five times per week and eat a healthy diet, try to keep at a healthy weight, stop smoking if you smoke and get your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar checked.” 

The Heart of Our City project also contains a leaflet that can be found on the Irish Heart Foundation’s website and in any local GP or pharmacy in the Dublin 8 area.  

This leaflet outlines the various supports that are available through the programme such as information on ways to eat healthily and be active, information on heart health and stroke support services. 

Photo credit: Irish Heart Foundation.

As this project is only a pilot, McNerney explains that they hope to make an impact on the community. “At the end of this pilot we will review and hopefully see lots of this information provided being downloaded and people accessing the supports available.” 

McNearney added that they would love to see this project roll out to every part of the country and any community where collaboration will work. “There is a hunger there for community support and resources.”