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The Well - Kinsale Community Health and Well Being Resource Centre

A new and exciting development is to take place in 2021 at the premises of the old HSE Dispensary, Market Lane, Kinsale.

The HSE agreed to lease this building, to the community of Kinsale on the basis that this building would accommodate three extraordinarily valuable and worthwhile community groups, namely: Kinsale Men’s Shed, Kinsale Youth Support Services (KYSS), Kinsale Youth Community Café.

Each of these community organisations are in urgent need of accommodation and we are most fortunate that the HSE has deemed their invaluable contribution to the wellbeing of our community such that it is willing to hand over this strategic building for this purpose.

The building is to be leased and managed by Kinsale Community Health and Well Being Resource centre, a registered charity. The governance of KCHWBRC is statutory, and the Board of Directors is comprised of the following members:

Carmel Murphy, Chairperson, Geraldine Machin, Secretary, Tom Reilly, (Representing KYSS), Gearoid Wycherly (Representing KYCC) and John O’Connor (Representing Kinsale Men’s Shed)

The management of the project is divested to a wider group which also includes representatives of the HSE, design team and community representatives.

KCHWBRC is known as The Well. The name was chosen as the well traditionally was a community resource where people gathered. The well is also the provider of a life-giving force. The Well is also an acronym for Wellness, Education, Life-giving, Life-skills.

Pic Siobhan Russell - At Eli Lilly Kinsale, presentation of donation. L to R: Gearoid Wycherley (KYCC), Geraldine Machin (KYSS), Vera Webb, Secretary Lilly Grants and Donations, Kevin Lydon, Chairperson, Lilly Grants and Donations, Carmel Murphy, John O'Connor (KMS).

This is a new initiative, whereby the HSE is collaborating with local community groups all of whom are involved in supporting numerous multi-generational projects focused on health and wellbeing. This partnership of HSE and community is the first such collaboration in Ireland. It will foster inclusive community participation by providing an environmentally friendly facility for health and wellbeing, education, recreation, celebration, and arts.

The culture of inclusivity will enrich all who will embrace the community-based services. The centre will be proactive from a community point of view and will provide one of the most innovative community supports nationwide.

The three organisations to be accommodated in this development provide support, facilitate services and enhance the well-being of vast numbers of people who live in Kinsale and its hinterland.

Kinsale Youth Support Services: In the year ending May 2020, KYSS provided 270 professional counselling consultations. A part-time health worker is employed and support services numbered 660 in this period.

Kinsale Men’s Shed caters for 30 members ranging from age 30 to 85. It provides a positive, holistic approach to men’s health that targets aspects of physical, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing by providing a safe and comfortable space and supportive environment.

Kinsale Youth Community Café provides a safe, secure and entertaining space for the young people of Kinsale and wider hinterland in which they can meet and socialise. In non Covid times, the youth café employs a youth worker and it has over 60 members who use the café regularly with over 20 members using it more than once a week.

The Project

The HSE building is in need of refurbishment and repurposing. Each of the three users has specific requirements which will be addressed in this refurbishment.

Planning Permission for refurbishment works was granted on September 20th 2020. Works are ready to commence once the current Covid restrictions on construction works are lifted.


This project is co funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development, West Cork LCDC and SECAD Partnership CLG. Cork County Council have also grant-aided the project from its community development initiative fund.

We are most grateful to Eli Lilly, Kinsale for a most significant donation towards the refurbishment. We have also had financial support from First South Credit Union, and Kinsale Chamber of Business and Tourism in conjunction with the Bank of Ireland enterprise grants.

The fact that these groups have chosen to support The Well is a huge expression of confidence in the project

A successful fundraiser was launched by the management committee over Christmas 2020. This was an online 12 Days of Christmas Quiz, which had the added benefit of raising awareness of our project within the community.

The format of further community fundraising efforts has to be reviewed in the context of COVID restrictions. These avenues of funding are currently under consideration. Should any philanthropist or benefactor wish to donate to this worthwhile project, the Committee would be delighted to hear from you.

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