As part of the Offaly Traveller Movement integrated men’s health plan, this project was launched in 2011. The aim is part of a wider initiative for OTM to develop a higher level of engagement with Traveller men that is culturally responsive. During a very short period of time the Horse Project has become highly successful.
Aims and benefits of the programme include:
- Increased engagement of Traveller men in relation to the social determinants of their health
- Increased awareness of, and access to existing health services and health professionals in Offaly
- Increased access to and interaction with the OTM men’s health programmes, the OTM Primary Healthcare team and other OTM specialist services
- Capacity building for Traveller men
- Improvement of men’s physical and mental health through the interaction with the horse
- Facilitated discussions around relationships, positive communication skills, leadership and trust
Engagement of Traveller men in health services is a major issue in public health in Ireland and the rapid success of this programme offers potential opportunity for scale-up and duplication of best practice nationally.
The short film ‘GO LASSIE GO’ by Ann-Marie Kelly below was specially commissioned for Traveller Pride week 2012 and shows some of the amazing work of the OTM horse project”