THE West Cork Feel Good Festival gets underway on October 7th with a schedule full of diverse events which are all completely free of charge.
The festival, which started back in 2012, aims to inspire people and communities across the area to engage in activities that connect people and communities and contribute to their wellbeing.
It’s organised by 49 North Street, Skibbereen, the Wellbeing Network, West Cork Mental Health Engagement and Cork Kerry HSE, working in partnership with community groups and organisations. Kevin O’Shanahan, a nurse specialist in the arts and mental health and manager at 49 North Street said: ‘The festival, has been running since 2012. In that time, a number of community based projects have been launched and continue to this day.
‘Initiatives like the Bantry Community Choir, the Skibbereen based Gamelan group and the Happiness Ensemble, which began in Clonakilty have all been launched at previous festivals.
‘These groups can be and are attended by people from all walks of life. Whether you are attending or have attended mental health or any other services in the past is not important. The focus is on connection and creative self -expression.’
This year, he said, there has been a lot of concern in relation to homelessness and environmental issues and how these issues are intrinsically linked to our mental health.
‘The programme for the festival, in turn has grown around these themes, which are important to those in our local community.
‘We are grateful to the many organisations in the community, such as Skibbereen Family Resource Centre, The Ludgate Hub and Levis and the Chestnut Restaurant in Ballydehob, who are all supporting this year’s events. Without this community collaboration, there could not be a festival.’
Events include mindful movement, creative writing and tree planting. There’s an evening of story and song with Lisa O Neill, and another with Luka Bloom.
Chef Rob Krawczyk of Michelin restaurant Chestnut is hosting a foraging event.
He will demonstrate and chat through the making of an autumnal soup using local ingredients. Guests will be able to interact with him while he cooks and enjoy a sample to take home.
Events are either online, or in strict adherence with public health guidelines, with limited spaces and pre-booking required.
For more information on events and to book tickets see thewellbeingnetwork.ie