This was Dungannon MS’s second Elevate project with the focus of this project on the carers. Through one-to-one conversations, group lunches and facilitated sessions, the aim was to establish a group support for the carers of people living with MS. A major component of their plan was to host sessions with relevant, external organisations that could provide advice and support for the group.
Through the mentoring and training provided by the Elevate programme, Dungannon MS Society was able to gain better understanding of the root causes of ill health and the social determinants of health. The Programme helped the group reflect on their practice, with the Reflective Practice Tool focusing their mentoring with Bolster Community. The mentoring has helped them become more able to realise this power of the collective thinking and more confident when speaking about the health inequalities they face. Ultimately, the organisation feels much more able to use the language of the social determinants of health and relate this to the work they are doing.
The Elevate project has enabled the beneficiaries to feel valued, appreciated and to be able to share their experiences with other carers and reduce their social isolation. The mindfulness sessions have helped reduce the participants’ stress levels and to be better prepared mentally to continue caring for the person with MS. The facilitated sessions have enabled the carers’ support group to become established, with the aim of it continuing long into the future.
“The Elevate programme has helped our members understand some of the root causes of ill health. By participating in the training and mentoring sessions and implementing some of the lessons learnt, members feel more empowered and confident.”
Basil Davidson, Chairperson