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1000th Community-Pharmacy Partnership receives funding to reduce health inequalities

28th March 2023

Gemma McCartan, McCartan's Pharmacy; Rosemary Deans, Founder of Centred Soul; Cathy Harrison, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer; Sheelin McKeagney, Chair CDHN; Joanne Vance, Director CDHN.

Centred Soul, Newry is celebrating receiving funding to deliver the 1000th Building the Community-Pharmacy Partnership (BCPP) programme to improve the health and wellbeing of women in the local community.

The BCPP programme is led by Community Development and Health Network (CDHN) in Northern Ireland and is funded by the Department of Health.

BCPP supports communities and community pharmacists to work in partnership to address locally defined needs so that people make connections, listen to and understand each other better and work together to address the social determinants of health and health inequalities

Speaking at the event, Department of Health’s Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Cathy Harrison said: “I am delighted to mark the 1000th project to receive funding to improve health inequalities in the Newry area.

“Since 2001 we have invested over £7 million in local community groups and pharmacy partnerships across Northern Ireland, to work together on a specific, local health need.

“The Centred Soul project is a great example of how the Building the Community Pharmacy Partnership Programme contributes to tackling inequality and improving community health and wellbeing locally.

“Centred Soul has developed a strong relationship with their local pharmacist McCartan’s, Newry and the CDHN project team.  By involving a range of local professionals, educators and service providers, the partnership delivers programmes tailored to nurture and provide holistic support to local women who have experienced challenging life experiences.

“With continuing demands on our health service, innovative approaches such as those delivered by Centred Soul can help to address locally defined needs and health inequalities which are seen too often in our communities.”

Joanne Vance, CDHN Director, said: “Today marks an important milestone in the 22-year story of the Building Community Pharmacy Partnership programme; a best practice, cross-sectoral partnership model based on trust, common purpose and community relationship building.

During the event, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer met with women who are involved with Centred Soul.

Ms Harrison commented: “I was privileged to meet some of the women and to hear at first-hand of how they are benefitting, in a positive way from the programmes offered by Centred Soul.  This project provides an increased awareness of the choices available to local women through McCartan’s pharmacy and the wider local community.

“Empowering women and confidence building cannot be underestimated and I want to commend all those involved in delivering this collaborative programme of work.”