Caring For Caregivers

An Cuan Programme


About the Programme

An Cuan Programme is designed to break down barriers and make the activities of the Sanctuary available and accessible to adults of all ages and abilities, with a particular emphasis on people who are going through a vulnerable period in their life. The word An Cuan means harbour in Irish and it represents presence, resilience and stillness.

Elements of the Programme

  • Online Community Sessions: The rising need for mental health support is evident in the unprecedent response to our online services. There are over 3000 people registered for our free An Cuan online community meditation sessions and each week we support and help sustain the wellbeing of over 500 people who attend these free online community meditation sessions. We receive consistent feedback that these sessions reduce isolation and provide an accessible community that acts as a refuge to many.
  • Befriending Service: Part of the An Cuan programme, the Befrienders, is a group of volunteers who wish to extend the hand of friendship to others by carrying out regular visits to people living in the Dublin 7 area who are experiencing social exclusion and mental health difficulties.
  • Equitable wellbeing: As part of our An Cuan programme we have been able to adopt a Turn No One Away policy which enables those who might be going through a difficult time, either financially or struggling with, illness, unemployment, and/or suffering or recovering from mental illness, addiction, homelessness or disability, to have access to all of our services.
  • Gardening: We have set aside the last Friday of each month for garden volunteers to work as part of a group.  How the volunteer day works in practice is that a core group of 3-5 people turn up, most of these have some horticultural experience and some in fact work as gardeners.  Sometimes other people also join the core group and they are very welcome.

Aims of the programme

  • Target those who may not be able to access other Sanctuary programmes and who are in a vulnerable position or going through a vulnerable period in their life.
  • Be a welcoming place for all, respecting whatever background or situation they may be coming from, without individuals accessing it being labelled or becoming associated with a particular service.
  • Offer a place of stillness to those going through vulnerable periods in their lives.
  • Offer guided meditation and treatments, giving a taste of Sanctuary activities.
  • Be a bridging service for people who are already connected with a service or organisation. ‘An Cuan’ aims to provide participants with new experiences and the opportunity to mix with people outside their own service, from all walks of life.
  • Reduce the sense of institutionalisation for people attending services.
  • The An Cuan Programme is also a bridge to other day and evening programmes in the Sanctuary. People attending are encouraged to continue their contact with the Sanctuary after they move on from their service or finish the programme.

Organisations and Services Connected with An Cuan

As An Cuan is aimed to be a bridging service for people accessing organisations/services, the Sanctuary must approve such organisations. Organisations/services accepted onto the programme should:

  1. Be established and registered
  2. Be in operation for a minimum of 6 months
  3. Provide services to people who are vulnerable
  4. Have clear goals for clients and a coherent ethos and philosophy
  5. Have a clear understanding of how the An Cuan programme may benefit their clients

A key contact in the organisation/service will be the main contact person for the Sanctuary. This must be someone who will be available. A second contact will be identified as back up. The Sanctuary reserves the right to remove an organisation/service from the list if it deems it necessary.

Just some of our Top Partners/Organisations who avail of the Cuan Programme for their clients:

  • The Stanhope Centre
  • Soilse
  • HSE Primary Care Centre’s
  • Chrysalis Community Centre
  • Business in the Community
  • Snug Counselling Service
  • Focus Ireland
  • Dublin Simon Community

For further information, please contact: Reception 01-6705419

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Stanhope St, Dublin 7, D07 H290

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+353 (0)1 670 5419

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