posted on November 13th, 2019

30 Years of Hope, Healing and Growth

The countdown is underway for the 3rd Annual Hope, Healing and Growth Event which will be held on Saturday 4th January 2020 in the Crest Centre, South West College.

This year’s event will be particularly significant as it will mark the beginning of a milestone year for local charity, Aisling Centre, which will be celebrating 30 years of tireless promotion of positive mental health and emotional wellbeing in Fermanagh.

Adrian Dunbar, award winning local actor and Aisling Centre Patron, recently launched the event along with Aisling Centre founding Member Sr Edel Bannon, Chairperson Dr Ann McDermott, Aideen McGinley, and Noelle McAlinden. Adrian will give a personal reflection on the theme of Hope at the plenary session on the day.

Dr Ann Mc Dermot, chair of the Aisling Centre, highlighted the growing success of the event and the momentum it was building in helping to inspire people in living life to the full and to support people in difficult times:  “The event will build on the successes of the last two years, presenting a programme of some of the most inspirational and motivational speakers on the Island of Ireland.

Keynote speakers include the ever popular Declan Coyle whose ‘Green Platform’ work has helped transform countless lives with his approach to positivity and Gerry Farrell, psychiatrist and lecturer, who helps people build the resilience necessary to manage tough times. Agnes Lunny OBE, native of Fermanagh and a leading voice on the island of Ireland for people with learning and intellectual disability, will share her personal insights on managing adversity, while Bridgeen Rea-Kaya, a pioneer of mindfulness and mindful self-compassion work in NI and TED x speaker, will present on the theme of the need for more compassion.

The overall programme is a wonderful combination of authentic life stories of how people have thrived over adversity, with a focus on self-care and coping strategies supported by a focused ‘lifestyle’ element.

Sharing their life stories are Dr Agata Stanek on coping with depression, tireless community champion Betty Leonard and a special showing of the recently launched poignant documentary by producer Fergus Cooper, “The Quiet Shuffling of Feet”, telling the story of David Bolton founding Director of the Northern Ireland Centre for Trauma and Transformation.

A series of seminars and workshops will run throughout the day and back by popular demand is Karen Dwyer’s how to be a superhero workshop and Patrick Drury’s mind mastery seminar. The award winning Wheelie Mama blogger recently turned children’s author, Sarah Griffiths focuses on how to tap into our limitless potential, while Vivian Mc Kinnon will inform and inspire on how to move from trauma to growth.

The opportunity to consider aspects of our lifestyle include environmentalist Teresa O’Hare of the award winning Orchard Acre Farm, looking at nature-friendly food and sessions on mindfulness and yoga as important aspects of self care. The day will also provide an opportunity to view exhibits created by local Charities Action Mental Health and SWELL.

This day of inspiration could not happen without the generosity of so many people, not least the speakers all of whom give of their time freely; our partners, the South West College who provide the fantastic venue in the Crest and Skills Centre and Terry McCartney of the Belmore Court Motel who sponsors the speaker’s accommodation.

All proceeds from the event will be used in support of the provision of counselling and play therapy services at the Aisling Centre.

Aideen McGinley, one of the organisers, encouraged people to attend: “You will hear personal stories of everyday miracles in a day of reflection, relaxation and restoration. The positivity of the event has inspired many and this year once again we have a lot to learn from others to help us all on our own life journeys.”

Tickets are available on Eventbrite –  – numbers are limited and demand is expected to be high.  As Aideen explained, “at only £15, it is a very affordable event and in previous years we know that many people bought tickets as Christmas gifts for friends and family – so get online or contact the Aisling Centre who will be happy to help.”