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Hearth


Hearth: Art for older people at home.

Hearth is a project that brings art into the homes of older people who are isolated geographically or restricted for other reasons. Each participant is visited by a skilled artist who is experienced in working with older people. The artist travels to the home of the older person weekly and facilitates a one to one workshop there. 

Hearth has previously operated in Belmullet, Achill Island and the Ballinrobe and Claremorris areas since 2009. The participants are guided and mentored in the process of making drawings, paintings, looking at art books and looking to nature for ideas and inspiration. The artists who facilitated were Bernie Garvey O'Mara who worked in North Mayo and Breda Murphy in Ballinrobe/Claremorris area. 

The idea for the project took shape in 2008 when Deirdre Walsh and Breda Mayock developed the idea. A three year pilot took place in 2009. The project ran from 2009 - 2016 with funding received from Atlantic Philanthropies, Southwest Mayo Development Company and Mayo County Council Community Gains Fund. 

The Hearth Project was reactivated temporarily in 2018 with the support of Pobal, the Department of Health, Mayo LCDC, the Healthy Ireland Fund and in association with Mayo Arts Service, Mayo County Council. The Hearth project is dependant on further funding for its continuation.

The Hearth project has significantly impacted on positive mental health and social inclusion of vulnerable people. It is hoped that this run of the Heart project will develop into a feasible model for the longer term facilitating of this rewarding initiative. Project Coordinator Breda Mayock at bredamayock@gmail.com.

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