National award for Southill centre

Owen Hickey

Reporter:

Owen Hickey

Southill is celebrating this week, after a local clinic claimed a prestigious award for a health project.

Southill is celebrating this week, after a local clinic claimed a prestigious award for a health project.

The Health Matters Naturally Clinic became the first Limerick- based project to win first prize this year in the Pride of Place Awards in the community Health Category last week.

Health Matters Naturally is located in the Southill Family Resource Centre and is described by members of the centre as “a haven of rest, relaxation and natural healing”.

Set up by Sister Maura O’Connor in 2000 with the support of the Mercy Sisters, the clinic opens Monday to Friday and offers a service free of charge to locals.

Co-ordinator in the centre, Jim Prior, was ecstatic after Health Matters Naturally was chosen for the award.

“It’s a great boost for the area and it’s great to see positive news for Southill.

“The project is an alternative health project and I think it compliments the current medical services available to people.

“We provide the services free to the locals of Southill and the Regeneration communities. From time to time, we open the service to private patients to cover costs, but 95 per cent of the time, we’re working with the local community,” he said.

Since 2000, Sr O’Connor has been providing a fusion of holistic complimentary therapies in the form of bio-resonance, allergy testing and immune system boosting treatments, alongside reiki healing, and indian head massages.

In recent years, the popularity of the service in the community has risen dramatically, so much so that in 2005 the clinic had to recruit the services of Damhnait Ni Riordain, a trained journey practitioner to assist Ms O’ Connor in meeting the demands for emotional support in the community.

The Southill Family Resource Centre Voluntary Management Committee, Limerick Regeneration and Limerick City Council have supported the work that Health Matters Naturally has been carrying out since it was set up 11 years ago.