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an insight into Dublin's culinary world as
they developed restaurant and hospitality
management skills through an intensive
training programme. Local participants
were trained by some of Ireland's premier
chefs and front-of-house professionals,
and were also introduced to a range of
suppliers, producers, and food markets.
On September 16, 2014, the programme
culminated with the transformation of
RCSI into a `one-night only' pop-up
restaurant, serving a six-course gourmet
meal for guests including local businesses
and members of the national media.
Partners in the REACH RCSI Programme
included the YMCA Aungier Street,
culinarians and kitchen instructors
Anthony O'Toole and Ella Kennedy, as
well as front-of-house experts and food
writers. Also mentoring the group were
two of Dublin's Michelin Star chefs: Derry
Clarke of L'Ecrivain and Ross Lewis of
Chapter One.
Women's Health Programme
The Women's Health Programme took
place over 10 weeks between July and
September in 2014, targeting females
living in the local community. Each
session focused on a specific health-
related topic with physical fitness
sessions taking place twice weekly with
two fitness instructors, Kitty Maguire
and Greg Connolly. The aim of the
programme was to improve the health of
participants and to illustrate the impact
of small lifestyle changes on long-term
health and wellbeing. Informal workshops
were facilitated by a number of external
and internal healthcare professionals,
including: Dr Judith Kavanagh and
Dr Una O'Neill, Mercers Medical Centre,
who delivered several sessions on
topics such as contraception, sexual
awareness, menopause, women and
cancer, weight management, diet and
nutrition. Dr Helen French, RCSI School
of Physiotherapy, educated the group
on keeping fit in a healthy way and injury
management. Michael Noble, Mental
Health Ireland, facilitated an excellent
workshop on promoting good mental
health while Professor Seamus Sreenan,
Director of the RCSI Graduate Entry
Medical Programme and Consultant in
Diabetes and Endocrinology closed the
programme with an informative and very
well-received talk on diabetes entitled "A
Spoonful of Sugar is Too Much".
Primary Science For Teachers' Initiative
Primary school teachers from around
Ireland participated in a five-day Come
to Your Senses summer course which
took place in July 2014. The Initiative
is a component of the REACH RCSI
programme. The course uses the theme
of the human senses to enable primary
school teachers to develop a passion
and enthusiasm for teaching science with
direct relevance to the primary science
curriculum for Social Environmental and
Science Education (SESE).
RCSI MiniMed programmes
Programmes to promote interest in
research, medicine and science were run
throughout the year, attracting all ages
by making science fun, exciting, relevant
and accessible. The hugely popular RCSI
MiniMed School Open Lecture Series,
presented by leading health professionals
and academics from RCSI, provided an
informative and entertaining series of free
public lectures. The lectures took place
monthly from October 2014 to March
2015, with two lectures taking place at
each session on a range of healthcare
topics including mental health, breast
cancer, pregnancy screening, concussion,
anxiety medication and superbugs.
In January 2015, 190 Transition Year
students from 90 schools across Ireland
attended the week-long TY MiniMed
Programme held in RCSI and Beaumont
Hospital, which provided an opportunity
to experience what it is like to train and
work as a doctor. Highlights of this year's
programme included an opportunity for
the students to witness a live Caesarean
section via video link from the Rotunda
Hospital and a laparoscopic surgical
procedure from Beaumont Hospital. In
February 2015, 120 TY students from the
South East took part in the Waterford
RCSI TY MiniMed Programme at the
HSE-RCSI Education Centre at University
Hospital Waterford (UHW) and Waterford
Institute of Technology (WIT), which
enabled the students to step out of
their usual classroom setting and attend
interactive lectures; receive hands-on
training in clinical skills; and get practical
experience in medicine and scientific
"The Grinds Club
helped me understand
certain topics I couldn't
understand in school."
- Grinds Club student
COMMUNITY - Initiatives in Ireland
Meath Senior Football captain Donal Keogan with primary school pupils at the 2015 REACH RCSI Sports Day.
Pictured (l-r) are Skillet participants Emma Brooker
Keith Nolan, Christopher Griffin, Marsha Gantley,
and Matthew Culleton.