PICTURES: Offaly's 'Mojo Men' receive guided tour of Croke Park

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Graduates of an Offaly programme for men who are in distress and affected by employment-related issues, have been given a guided tour of Croke Park.

The men who have completed a 12-week Mojo Programme have the opportunity to meet on a regular basis post Mojo, including for events like this faciliated through the Healthy Ireland initiative.

This group are known as Mojo Brothers and they meet up for a chat and engage in activities whereby they upskill, socialise and have fun in an environment conducive to promoting a positive sense of wellbeing.

Mojo Men recently went on tour of Croke Park Stadium in Dublin. Croke Park has been at the heart of Irish sporting life in excess of 100 years.

The group learned about defining moments in Irish history, they got to take a seat in the VIP area, got a birds-eye view from the media centre, a peek inside the dressing rooms, and walked in the footsteps of GAA legends as they walked pitchside through the players’ tunnel and even lifted the Liam MacCarthy Cup aloft.

This trip was feasible due to Healthy Ireland funding which is a Government-led initiative which aims to create an Irish society where everyone can enjoy physical and mental health, and where wellbeing is valued and supported at every level of society.

Healthy Ireland has come about because of concerns that the current health status of people living in Ireland, including lifestyle trends and health inequalities.

Following the tour of Croke Park, the Mojo Graduates then went to visit a Men’s shed project in Jobstown, Co Dublin where they had a bite to eat and a chat with other men who meet on a regular basis to engage in woodwork projects and horticulture while communicating over a cup of tea and a chat.

All of the men who engage in these activities have successfully completed a 12-week Mojo programme. Mojo is for men who are in distress and affected by employment-related issues. The men must be motivated to make changes to their lives. Many men attending Mojo are unemployed for a variety of reasons including a lack of availability of jobs in their related fields, poor physical or mental health and providing care to a family member. Some men who participate in the programme are employed/ self-employed and are experiencing distress.

The training takes place over a 12-week period, Wednesday’s 10-1pm and Thursday’s 10-2pm in Offaly Local Development Company, Millennium House, Main Street, Tullamore, Co Offaly. The training is free and lunch is provided. A man’s benefits will not be affected while participating in the course.

The group training programme combines a unique mix of mental health, adult guidance, physical fitness and social networking methodologies that afford men the opportunity to explore the following: how to be and stay well, barriers to achieving their goals and desires and how to plan for their future. In addition to the group work each man has two 1:1 sessions with a life planner. The physical element of the programme is conducted by Offaly Sports Partnership.

The next Mojo Programme commences on May 15/16 in The Mojo Male Space, Offaly Local Development Company, Millennium House, Main Street, Tullamore. If you would like to know more about Mojo, contact Caroline Brickland, Programme Manager on 087 602 8801 or email cbrickland@offalyldc.ie