Smart D8 Opens Call for Tutors and Facilitators : Join The Smart D8 Panel

Introduction and Overview

Smart D8, a pioneering population health and wellbeing demonstrator, has been at the forefront of tackling real-world health and wellbeing challenges since its inception in 2020. By demonstrating new forms of collaboration while piloting new digital technologies and services, Smart D8 offers unique opportunities to address pressing population health issues.

The primary mechanism used to address these challenges has been the implementation of open calls for pilots. These open calls for pilots have taken place every March from 2021, addressing specific health challenges each year and resulting in the successful execution of 12 key pilot projects to date, with numerous others in the pipeline.

Apart from the pilot scheme, another strategy used to address these challenges is the support of health and wellbeing initiatives. In fact, since January 2024, Smart D8 has been actively supporting various organisations and professionals across Dublin 8, facilitating the delivery of health and wellbeing workshops for both workers and residents in the area. These initiatives catered to diverse age groups and covered a range of themes, such as healthy food and eating, physical health and wellbeing, successful and positive ageing, and mental health.

As a result of these endeavours, thousands of individuals have been inspired and engaged by innovative pilots and health and wellbeing initiatives. Smart D8 has now established relationships with 30 community organisations, three community networks, and 10 schools in Dublin 8, and is now looking to expand its offerings.

To further extend its impact, Smart D8 is now seeking to establish a panel of tutors and facilitators to deliver inspirational and educational workshops on health and wellbeing with a wide range of partners to workers based in Dublin 8.

This represents an exciting and unique opportunity for individuals with an interest in developing their tutoring and facilitation skills while contributing to the health and wellbeing of the Dublin 8 community. All of this while working within an innovative environment and engaging with a community of innovators and entrepreneurs.

Smart D8 Workshops Themes

Smart D8 is looking to establish a panel of tutors and facilitators to deliver inspirational and educational workshops on health and wellbeing to employees of companies based in Dublin 8. These workshops aim to empower the Dublin 8 working community with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Therefore, we’re now seeking expertise in various health and wellbeing fields to lead the engaging and informative workshops mentioned above. Find below the two main areas we are interested in recruiting:


  • Skin Disease Prevention
  • Cancer Prevention
  • Diabetes Prevention
  • First Aid and CPR


  • Nutrition and Diet (i.e., healthy cooking and eating habits)
  • Sport (e.g., yoga, tai-chi etc…)
  • Positive Sleep Habits
  • Mindfulness and Meditation
  • Psychoeducation (e.g., teaching coping skills for anxiety, depression, stress etc…)
  • DIY and Craft Activities (e.g., woodworking, metalworking, upcycling projects etc…)
  • Cultural and Recreational Activities (e.g., music sessions, art classes, film screenings, writing classes, gardening classes, etc…)
  • Social Activities (e.g., learning to play chess, pool, table tennis, darts, etc…)

Smart D8 seeks to support the development of impactful health and wellbeing workshops with the potential to scale. The tutors and facilitators should be ready to deploy the workshops with Dublin 8 companies’ employees starting September 2024.

Who Should Apply?


  • Expertise in any of the mentioned above areas.
  • Experience or strong interest in health and wellbeing.
  • S/he/they will work well under pressure and have the ability to work on his/her/their own initiative.


  • S/he/they will be an effective and engaging communicator with the ability to inspire in a positive way.
  • S/he/they will have excellent, interpersonal and presentation skills – both written and verbal.
  • Excellent analytical skills – can identify a problem/risk and propose solutions to multi-faceted problems (essential).
  • Excellent time management skills and highly organized. The ability to meet deadlines while working on multiple projects simultaneously, to priorities tasks and see through to completion (essential).
  • Flexible approach – available to work outside normal hours are required on an occasional basis (essential).
  • Resourceful / conscientious and self-motivated individual with a ‘can do attitude’ – ability to see tasks through to completion (essential).


  • Responsibility for the operational project management of health and wellbeing workshops with workers in Dublin 8.
  • Engaging the employees of companies based in Dublin 8 to participate in activities and capturing data to benchmarking impacts.
  • Responsibility for the coordination, planning and implementation of health and wellbeing workshops, events and meetings including events to promote the workshops.
  • Monitoring, collection and timely reporting of project outputs, milestones and deliverables to the Management team and associated co-funding agencies.

Why Apply?

Smart D8 offers a unique opportunity for tutors and facilitators to work within an innovative environment and to engage with the working community of Dublin 8.

The selected tutors and facilitators will receive:

  • An hourly fee which will cover training of the selected panel as well as course development, delivery and assessment.
  • Opportunities as they arise as we deploy and implement our health and wellbeing workshops throughout the next 12 months.
  • Access to learning facilities, equipment, venues for the workshops, and meeting spaces.
  • Opportunities as they arise to networking opportunities with the unique range and diversity of partners in the Smart D8 Consortium, and with innovators, technologists, creatives and entrepreneurs.
  • Access to the vibrant Dublin 8 community, with a population of 43,000 people.

How to Apply?

If you are interested in applying, please send the following to

  • a cover letter outlining how your skills and experience are suited for the role on the panel;
  • a CV no more than two pages in length, which should be submitted on or before Friday 12th July 2024.

Shortlisted candidates may be called for an interview.

Successful applicants will be chosen by a selection panel established by Smart D8.

Call opens: Wednesday, 12th June 2024

Call closes: Friday, 12th July 2024

Workshops to start: September 2024

Late submissions will not be accepted.

All materials submitted should be clearly labelled with the applicant’s name and contact details.

The selection panel, whose decision is final, has the right to clarify any issue which may arise in the course of selection.

Applicants may be asked to supply the names and contact details of referees as part of the selection process.

Smart D8 reserves the right not to award commissions and, in this instance, reserves the right to pursue other selection processes.

Submissions will not be returned.

Eligibility and General Conditions

Smart D8 is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and promotes equality, diversity, and inclusion within its sector, protecting human rights and eliminating discrimination.

If you have a disability or require reasonable accommodations as part of our application process, we strongly encourage you to share this with us so that we can ensure you get the support you need.

Selected tutors and facilitators will be required to follow national policy with regard to commissions involving interaction with vulnerable adults and where applicable undergo training in this area, as per national requirements.

The appointed candidates will have to supply an up-to-date tax clearance certificate prior to signing of contract and for the duration of the panel.

Please email any queries in relation to the Tutors and Facilitators panel to before Friday 21st June 2024.

Laughter Yoga Session

Event Recap

On May 29th, from 1 pm to 2 pm, Smart D8, in collaboration with Simone Meschnig, Laughter Yoga Leader, Sound Healing Practitioner, and Meditation & Yoga Teacher, hosted the ‘Laughter Yoga’ session. Held in iD8 at The Digital Depot, this event marked the sixth workshop dedicated to Mental Health Awareness Month.

Workshop Highlights

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Laughter Yoga combines three powerful elements:

  1. Laughter and Playfulness
  2. Yogic Breathwork
  3. Mindfulness Meditation

Laughter Yoga uniquely blends unconditional laughter exercises with yogic breathing, without relying on jokes or humor. The practice is based on the idea that the body doesn’t distinguish between real and simulated laughter, resulting in increased oxygen intake and enhanced energy and health. As a powerful cardio workout, Laughter Yoga stimulates physical exercise through laughter while maintaining eye contact with others, promoting genuine playfulness. This often leads to real, contagious laughter, bypassing intellectual barriers that usually inhibit natural laughter.


Laughter Yoga sessions begin with gentle warm-up techniques such as stretching and body movements to break down inhibitions and encourage playfulness. Breathing exercises prepare the lungs for laughter, followed by a series of laughter exercises that combine acting and visualization techniques with playful interactions. These exercises, supported by the social dynamics of group behaviour, lead to prolonged hearty laughter. A typical session concludes with laughter meditation and deep relaxation, leaving participants refreshed and rejuvenated.


Participating in Laughter Yoga offers numerous benefits:

  • Increased Oxygen and Endorphins: boosts feel-good hormones in the body;
  • Stronger Immune System: enhances overall physical health;
  • Reduced Stress: eases physical, mental, and emotional tension;
  • Pain Relief: helps alleviate pain and discomfort;
  • Lower Blood Sugar Levels: contributes to better health management;
  • Natural Antidepressant Effects: releases endorphins and serotonin, mimicking the effects of some antidepressants;
  • Mental Clarity and Creativity: promotes a clearer, more creative mind;
  • Emotional Catharsis: provides a powerful experience of emotional release and joyfulness that can last for days;
  • Positive Mental Attitude: develops resilience and positivity to navigate challenging times;
  • Spiritual Connection: encourages self-awareness and spiritual growth;
  • Fostering Compassion: cultivates forgiveness, generosity, and a desire to seek the happiness of others.

Workshop Goals

This Laughter Yoga session connected people at a heart level, free from judgment, embodying the true spirit of yoga. Participants engaged in gentle stretches, giggles, and laughter exercises, making new connections and leaving the class feeling lighter and more energized.

To watch the video showcasing the best moments from the ‘Laughter Yoga’ session, please visit this link:

Managing Burnout And Stress: Is BOSS The Boss Of You? Talk

Event Recap

On May 30th, from 12:45 pm to 1:45 pm, Smart D8 teamed up with St Patrick’s Mental Health Services to host the ‘Managing Burnout And Stress: Is BOSS The Boss Of You’ talk in the Conference Room at St Patrick’s University Hospital, Dublin 8. This event marked the seventh mental health workshop facilitated by SPMHS’ Programme Manager, Debbie Van Tonder, in honour of Mental Health Awareness Month.

Workshop Highlights

Identifying Burnout Stress Syndrome (BOSS)

Burnout, now recognized by the WHO in the ICD-11, is a chronic state of physical and emotional exhaustion due to prolonged stress, often work-related. Characterized by extreme fatigue, detachment, and diminished accomplishment, burnout can negatively impact work performance, relationships, and overall well-being.

Ignoring burnout can worsen its effects, potentially leading to severe physical and mental health issues and decreased job performance. Burnout stems from accumulated work stress, causing exhaustion, energy loss, and a lack of motivation.

Common Signs of Burnout

Burnout manifests through various symptoms, including:

  • Constant fatigue;
  • Feelings of helplessness and defeat;
  • Emotional detachment and isolation;
  • Cynicism and negativity;
  • Self-doubt;
  • Procrastination and inefficiency;
  • Overwhelm and frustration;
  • Reduced job satisfaction;
  • Sleep disturbances;
  • Increased irritability and physical distress.

Causes of Burnout

Factors contributing to burnout include:

  • Emotional exhaustion: persistent fatigue after work
  • Depersonalization: alienation from colleagues and workplace
  • Low self-esteem: feelings of inadequacy and failure at work
  • Lack of control: inability to influence job aspects
  • Unclear expectations: uncertainty about job responsibilities
  • Conflicts: issues with colleagues or supervisors
  • Imbalanced workload: either too much or too little to do
  • Insufficient support: feeling isolated at work
  • Poor work-life balance: excessive work affecting personal life

Burnout is not merely due to long hours or busyness; it’s the result of prolonged high stress without adequate recovery.

Developing Stress Resilience

Resilience involves adapting, recovering, and growing from adversity, helping to manage and prevent burnout. Key aspects include:

  1. Stress Management: engaging in stress-reducing activities like exercise and mindfulness.
  2. Adaptability: being flexible and finding solutions during challenges.
  3. Positive Mindset: focusing on strengths and maintaining motivation.
  4. Boundaries and Self-Care: setting realistic expectations and avoiding overcommitment.
  5. Social Support: building strong support networks for emotional support.

Building resilience involves self-awareness, supportive relationships, self-care, realistic goals, positive thinking, problem-solving skills, stress management techniques, adaptability, and seeking professional help if necessary.

Coping Strategies for Burnout

To manage burnout:

  1. Explore Options: discuss concerns with your boss and set realistic goals.
  2. Seek Support: talk to colleagues, friends, or loved ones.
  3. Relaxation Activities: engage in yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
  4. Exercise: regular physical activity to reduce stress.
  5. Sleep: ensure restful sleep.
  6. Mindfulness: stay aware of your internal and external environment without judgment.
  7. Balance: allocate time for family, friends, and personal activities.

Employer Responsibilities

  • Develop strategies for mental health and regular stress assessments.
  • Provide access to counseling services and Employee Assistance Programs.
  • Promote open communication, regular breaks, and a healthy work-life balance.
  • Discourage stigma around mental health and prevent unreasonable workloads.

Workshop Goals

Participants at this talk learned that understanding resilience is crucial in addressing burnout. By building resilience, they can better handle stress and challenges, leading to improved wellbeing and success. This ongoing process enhances personal growth and leads to a more fulfilling life.

Prioritising Wellbeing and Mental Health Workshop



Event Recap

On May 28th, from 10 am to 12:30 pm, Smart D8, in collaboration with The Family Resource Centre St Michael’s Estate, Common Ground, and dance artist Philippa Donnellan, hosted the ‘Prioritising Wellbeing and Mental Health’ workshop. Held in Bay 1 at The Digital Depot, this event marked the fifth workshop dedicated to Mental Health Awareness Month, highlighting the importance of community, dance, and mental health.

Workshop Highlights


Over the past two years, from 2020 to 2023, The Family Resource Centre’s women’s group engaged in weekly sessions with the dance artist Philippa Donnellan. These sessions took place in various locations such as the open air, local schools, and the People’s Pavilion at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, offering a safe and creative space during the challenging times of the pandemic.

Benefits of Dance and Social Gatherings 

The workshop was more than just a dance session; it was a celebration of community and well-being. Dancing offers numerous health benefits, both physical and mental. Engaging in dance can improve cardiovascular health, increase flexibility and strength, and enhance coordination. On a mental level, dancing is known to boost mood, reduce stress, and provide a sense of accomplishment.

Social gatherings like this workshop play a crucial role in mental health. They offer a sense of belonging, reduce feelings of isolation, and foster meaningful connections. By coming together to dance, share stories, and celebrate, participants experienced a sense of joy and camaraderie that is essential for well-being.

‘We Love Dancin’ Screening

A highlight of the event was the screening of the film ‘We Love Dancin’, a collaborative dance project produced by The Family Resource Centre St Michael’s Estate and Common Ground, directed by Cathy Dunne of Lore Films and funded by the Arts Council, with thanks to IMMA.

To watch the film, click here or view it on Vimeo

Women’s Empowerment Through Dance    

During the workshop, participants had the opportunity to dance alongside the women’s group led by Philippa. They enjoyed the group’s favourite dance tracks and learned different steps and movements.

Celebrating Dublin 8 Community Groups

This special event united diverse local community groups from Dublin 8, who had seldom gathered together since Covid-19. It fostered new connections and strengthened existing relationships, highlighting the importance of coming together in person once again. It was a testament to the power of community in promoting mental health and well-being. The workshop not only provided a space for dance and fun but also highlighted the importance of supporting one another through creative and engaging activities.

Workshop Goals

The workshop equipped attendees with a variety of dance steps, movements, and tracks that they can enjoy in their personal time, whether dancing alone or with others. Following the dance session, participants gathered for a delightful buffet, where they shared meals and stories. This communal dining experience underscored the joy and connection that such opportunities provide, fostering a sense of community and well-being among all who attended.

To watch the video showcasing the best moments from the ‘Prioritising Wellbeing and Mental Health’ workshop, please visit this link:

.ie Digital Town Awards 2024

Celebrating Smart D8’s Achievement at the .ie Digital Town Awards 2024 

We are excited to share that Smart D8 has earned the Runner-Up spot in the Digital Community category at the .ie Digital Town Awards 2024. This category honours digital initiatives and projects that significantly benefit their communities. The Winner received a €4,000 Prize Fund, while the Runner-Up was awarded €2,000.

Smart D8 – A Population Health and Wellbeing Demonstrator in Dublin

At Smart D8, our mission is to actively engage with our community, striving to make a positive impact on people’s lives by preventing illnesses and promoting health and wellbeing. This recognition underscores our dedication to these goals.

Understanding the .ie Digital Town Awards 

The .ie Digital Town Awards were established to promote digital enhancement and adoption across Ireland. These awards raise awareness and understanding of digital technologies among Irish citizens, businesses, and communities. They celebrate the digital achievements of local towns, both large and small, highlighting the potential of digital innovation to transform communities.

The Role of Digital Innovation

Digital technologies create opportunities for innovation, making communities more attractive places to live and work while contributing to a sustainable future. The awards also acknowledge the efforts of volunteers who tirelessly work to improve their local areas, showcasing how towns can leverage digital resources for renewal and growth.

Eligibility and Participation

The .ie Digital Town Awards welcome entries from community organizations, town groups, regional or national collaboration projects, and individual businesses. Participants must demonstrate the implementation and impact of their digital strategies.

Smart D8’s Digital Vision

Smart D8’s digital vision is a response to the challenges confronting healthcare, navigating through chronic diseases, ageing populations, and unforeseen emergencies. Unlike traditional healthcare models that predominantly allocate resources to retrospective treatment, Smart D8’s vision lies in a ‘prospective’ healthcare strategy, geared towards preventing illnesses through innovative cross-sectoral collaborations, using a ‘whole society’ approach that ensures that the benefits of digital technology are inclusive, reaching diverse segments of the population.

A Commitment to Community Engagement

Smart D8’s digital vision stands as a testament to the transformative power of collaboration, innovation, and technology in addressing complex healthcare challenges. The people-centric approach, encapsulated by the question, “technology is the answer, but what was the question?” underscores Smart D8’s commitment to addressing the genuine challenges faced by the community, ensuring that technology is purposefully harnessed to enhance the quality of life for Dublin residents.

Smart D8 prioritizes a people-centric approach, putting community needs at the forefront. We actively engage the local community in shaping our agenda and pilot projects, ensuring their voices are heard and their needs are met.

Here’s to a Healthier and Happier Future Together!

We extend our gratitude to our partners and the Dublin 8 community for their support in achieving this milestone. We now remain dedicated to supporting our community’s health and wellbeing journey!

If you would like to learn more about what we or get involved, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at


Managing Your Anxiety Workshop

Event Recap

On May 22nd, from 1 pm to 2 pm, Smart D8 teamed up with Turn2Me to host the ‘Managing Your Anxiety’ workshop in The Learning Studio at The Digital Depot. This event marked the fourth mental health workshop facilitated by Turn2Me’s CEO, Fiona O’Malley, in honour of Mental Health Awareness Month.

Turn2Me is an Irish online mental health charity that provides accessible services to adults living in Ireland.

For more information on Turn2Me and the services they offer, visit their website at

Workshop Highlights

What is Anxiety

Anxiety is an emotion characterised by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes.

Types of Anxiety

  1. Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD): feeling excessive, unrealistic worry and tension with little or no reason. It causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event. People with GAD feel anxious most days.
  2. Social Anxiety Disorder: feeling overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. It is an intense fear that doesn’t go away.
  3. Specific Phobias: an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of objects or situations that pose little real danger but provoke anxiety and avoidance. The four major specific phobia categories are natural environment (e.g., thunderstorms), animals (e.g., insects), mutilation/medical treatment (e.g., needles), situations (e.g., heights, airplanes, enclosed spaces).
  4. Panic Disorder: an intense attack of fear and anxiety that may occur without warning. They often occur in response to a stressful event.

Psychological and Physical Symptoms

  1. Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD): restlessness, fatigue, excessive anxiety and worry, increased muscle aches or soreness, impaired concentration, irritability, difficulty sleeping.
  2. Social Anxiety Disorder: fear of situations where you may be judged negatively, worry about embarrassment and humiliation, fear of interacting with strangers, avoidance of situations where you might be the center of attention, blushing and fast heartbeat, trembling, nausea.
  3. Specific Phobias: an immediate feeling of intense fear, anxiety and panic when exposed to or event thinking about the source of your fear.
  4. Panic Disorder: racing heartbeat, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, chills, a choking sensation, ringing in your ears, fear of dying.

Workshop Goals

The workshop provided attendees with a range of tools to manage anxiety effectively such as conscious breathing (deep breathing to calm the body), mindful awareness (techniques to shift awareness between internal and external stimuli to gain a sense of control), fun and laughter (moments of joy reduce tension), and counselling/therapy. The session concluded with a Q&A segment, allowing participants to ask specific questions and seek further advice. The open dialogue fostered a sense of community and understanding among attendees, highlighting the importance of addressing mental health issues openly.

Everyone Can Meditate Workshop

Event Recap

On May 21st, from 1 pm to 2 pm, Smart D8 teamed up with Matt Burke, founder of the Magic Minds Podcast and Foundation, to host the ‘Everyone Can Meditate’ workshop in iD8 at The Digital Depot. This event marked the third mental health workshop in honour of Mental Health Awareness Month.

Matt’s aim and intentions in life are to inspire people of all ages to acquire the skills, knowledge, and confidence to improve their own mental and physical health and well-being.

Workshop Highlights

Understanding Mindfulness and Meditation

  • Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of our surroundings and actions, without being overly reactive or overwhelmed.
  • Meditation is an exploration of the present moment, embracing our sensations, emotions, and thoughts to calm the mind.

Practical Tips for Embracing Mindfulness and Meditation

Introducing meditation into your life can be simple with these practical tips:

  1. Focus on physical sensations throughout your body (Body-Centered Meditation);
  2. Concentrate on a question or contradiction (Contemplation);
  3. Focus on a specific emotion, like kindness or happiness (Emotion-Centered Meditation);
  4. Repeat a specific phrase or sound (Mantra Meditation);
  5. Repeat a specific movement (Movement Meditation);
  6. Stay aware of the present moment (Mindfulness Meditation);
  7. Focus on a visual image, either real or imagined (Visual-Based Meditation).

Getting Started

  • Learn what you like: meditate at a time that suits you, whether morning or night.
  • Make time: incorporate meditation into your daily routine.
  • Set the surroundings: choose a quiet, comfortable place.
  • Seek guidance: explore resources and ask for help if needed.

The Healing Power of Sound

What is Sound Healing?

Sound Healing is a therapy combining healing sounds, music, and instruments to enhance well-being. This ancient practice, revered by many cultures, uses sound for both healing and spiritual development. Sound instruments, used by shamans, priests, and healers, have evolved into significant tools for holistic therapy today.

Guided Meditation: A Step-by-Step Journey

What is Guided Meditation?

Guided meditation involves a teacher leading you through the practice, either in person or via digital media. For beginners, guidance from an experienced teacher or digital apps like Headspace can be invaluable.

Visualization: Harnessing the Power of the Mind

What is Visualization?

Visualization is a technique that orients your mind toward your goals, reducing anxiety and boosting motivation. It’s a powerful tool for mental clarity and decision-making, helping you achieve your aspirations.

The Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness

Regular practice of meditation and mindfulness bring numerous benefits, including:

  1. Reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD;
  2. Enhanced cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills;
  3. Improved emotional resilience and physical health, such as better sleep and heart function;
  4. Reduced activity in the amygdala and strengthened connections in the brain, making us less reactive to stress and better at recovering from it;
  5. Improved memory, attention, and overall happiness.

Workshop Goals

Participants at the workshop engaged in various types of meditation, including breathing exercises, visualization, and guided meditation. The session was educational, practical, and fun, making meditation accessible to everyone.

To watch the video showcasing the best moments from the ‘Everyone Can Meditate’ workshop, please visit this link:

ADHD Parenting Workshop

Event Recap

On May 15th, from 5:30 pm to 8 pm, Smart D8 teamed up with Tusla – The Child and Family Agency – to host the ‘ADHD Parenting’ workshop in iD8 at The Digital Depot. This event marked the second mental health workshop facilitated by Tusla professionals Heather McLoughlin (CFSN Coordinator) and Lorraine Doherty (Senior CFSN Coordinator) in honour of Mental Health Awareness Month.

Workshop Highlights

The workshop delved into key themes from the ‘Parent Plus ADHD Children’s Programme,’ focusing on:

  • Parenting a child with ADHD
  • Understanding ADHD’s challenges and strengths
  • The role of medication and other treatments
  • Managing homework and educational challenges
  • Emotional impact of ADHD and building self-esteem
  • Communicating with children about their ADHD

Key Takeaways for Parents

1. Recognizing the Strengths of ADHD

ADHD comes with unique strengths. Individuals with ADHD often think outside the box and exhibit high levels of creativity, drive, energy, and determination. Highlighting positive role models, such as Emma Watson, who have ADHD can normalize the condition and inspire children.

2. ‘Tuning In’ to Your Child’s ADHD

Each child’s experience with ADHD is unique. It’s crucial to identify specific challenges your child faces, such as inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, sensory issues, strong emotions, and low self-esteem, and learn how to cope with them together.

3. Separating the Child from ADHD Behaviours

Viewing ADHD-related behaviours as symptoms of the condition, rather than deliberate actions by the child, fosters compassion and understanding. This approach helps children develop a more positive self-view.

4. Focusing on Strengths and Positive Qualities

Identify and nurture your child’s strengths and positive attributes, whether related to ADHD or their personality. This boosts their self-esteem, helps channel their energy positively, and enhances the parent-child relationship.

Practical Techniques for Parents

Grounding Techniques

  • Observe and name 5 things you see, 4 things you feel, 3 things you hear, and 2 things you smell.
  • Splash cold water on your face or arms.
  • Practice deep breathing and body scans.
  • Engage in stretching or physical activity.

Effective Play Strategies

  • Follow your child’s lead in play, building their confidence and learning.
  • Slow down, wait, and respond to your child, giving them time to think and express themselves.
  • Comment on their activities instead of asking questions, showing interest and encouraging their ideas.
  • Use positive reinforcement to support and guide your child.

Building Playtime Routines

  • Establish daily playtime routines.
  • Engage in diverse play activities and one-on-one time with each child.
  • Incorporate sensory play tailored to your child’s needs.

Strengthening Parent-Child Connections

Regular Check-Ins

Ensure you have regular times to chat with your child each day, building everyday connections and strengthening your relationship.

Shared Activities

Identify and participate in activities and hobbies that both you and your child enjoy, fostering bonding and understanding.

Positive Parenting Responses

Pressing the Pause Button

When faced with recurring challenges, pause and consider a different response. Stay calm, understand your child’s underlying feelings, and plan proactive strategies to address and prevent issues. Recognize that impulsive behaviours are often beyond their control and develop a thoughtful, compassionate approach to discipline.

Workshop Goals

The ‘ADHD Parenting’ workshop provided parents with practical tools and insights to better understand and support their children with ADHD. By focusing on strengths, effective communication, and proactive parenting strategies, parents can foster a positive environment for their children to thrive.

New Authority Parenting Workshop

Event Recap

On May 8th, from 5:30 pm to 8 pm, Smart D8 teamed up with Tusla – The Child and Family Agency – to host the ‘New Authority Parenting’ workshop in iD8 at The Digital Depot. This event marked the first mental health workshop facilitated by Tusla professionals Heather McLoughlin (CFSN Coordinator) and Lorraine Doherty (Senior CFSN Coordinator) in honour of Mental Health Awareness Month.

Workshop Highlights

By the end of the workshop, which aimed to address child-to-parent violence, participants had a solid understanding of Non Violent Resistance principles and practical techniques.

Child-to-parent violence includes a spectrum of abusive behaviours such as aggression, intimidation, physical violence, controlling tactics, stalking, and financial abuse. In these situations, the child uses violence or the threat of it to disempower the parent, seeking to control or dominate family members.

The Seven Pillars of Non Violent Resistance (NVR)

Participants learned about the seven pillars of NVR:

  1. De-escalation
  2. Baskets
  3. Reconciliation Gestures
  4. Active Resistance
  5. Supporters and Self-Care
  6. Announcements
  7. Sit-Ins

De-escalation is key to breaking the cycle of conflict. Parents were taught to “press pause,” meaning to control their response without giving in. For instance, calmly stating that the issue will be addressed later when both parties are calm is a strategic withdrawal, not a sign of surrender.

The Role of Regulation in Parenting

Dr. Bruce Perry, a renowned neuroscientist in trauma, emphasizes a three-step process for helping vulnerable children:

  1. Regulate: Help the child calm their fight/flight/freeze responses.
  2. Relate: Connect with the child through an attuned and sensitive relationship.
  3. Reason: Support the child in reflecting, learning, and becoming self-assured.

Establishing Respectful Communication

Parents were encouraged to calmly insist on respectful communication. This strategy helps establish a positive parental presence and fosters a new, healthier relationship dynamic. These actions are not punitive but show commitment to positive interaction.

Breaking Negative Interaction Habits

Over time, families can develop negative interaction habits. In homes with child-to-parent violence, parents might feel restricted by their children. Breaking these habits empowers parents, enhancing their sense of self and reducing feelings of being used.

Building a Support Network

Recognizing or building a support network is crucial. Supporters, who can be family, friends, or trusted individuals, offer practical help in ending violence and aggression at home. They act as witnesses, mediators, or protectors and support the parent’s authority without undermining it.

Acts of Reconciliation

Reconciliation gestures help rebuild the loving parent-child relationship strained by challenging behaviours. These acts of love run parallel to non violent resistance, fostering increased cooperation over time without depending on improved behaviour.

Workshop Goals

The journey through Non Violent Resistance often involves “two steps forward, one step back”. This slow, uneven progress keeps moving in the right direction, maintaining hope through setbacks.

The ultimate aim of the workshop was to help parents and caregivers reflect on their own contributions to aggressive and violent behaviour. By developing de-escalation skills, they learned how to bring about positive and safe changes in the home, creating a more harmonious family environment.

Knitting Classes

Crafting Connections Through Knitting Classes 

The two main objectives of the knitting classes, delivered by SICCDA/RECDP and supported by Smart D8, were to equip participants with essential knitting skills and to stimulate mental and physical wellbeing, particularly for older adults. These classes, held on April 8th and 15th, 2024, aimed to promote positive aging and overall health through the therapeutic art of knitting.

Stitching Lives Together

Led by a confident and experienced knitting tutor, the classes provided a nurturing environment for participants to explore their creativity and enhance their knitting abilities.

Thirteen enthusiastic individuals participated in the workshops, receiving hands-on instruction and guidance to develop their knitting skills. At SICCDA/RECDP, many older participants already had a passion for knitting, forming their own knitting group to collaborate on projects. During the workshops, each participant received two balls of wool to use, with a special focus on creating blankets for donation to a worthy cause. In fact, over the two-week period, participants knitted 15 blankets that were donated to hospice care, showcasing both their newfound skills and their compassionate spirit.

Beyond the practical skill acquisition, the knitting classes reinforced a sense of community and mutual support among participants. Through shared learning experiences, individuals supported and encouraged one another, creating a warm and inclusive atmosphere where everyone felt valued and empowered.


A total of 13 people participated in the knitting classes over the course of two weeks, which provided participants with valuable skills while promoting a deeper sense of connection and support within the community. By knitting together, individuals found joy in creativity, comfort in companionship, and fulfillment in giving back to others. This project exemplifies the power of creativity and community in promoting positive aging and wellbeing.

Cooking On A Budget Classes

Empowering Individuals With Cooking Skills

In an effort to foster healthier lifestyles and stronger community bonds in Dublin 8, Robert Emmet CDP/SICCDA, with support from Smart D8, delivered the “Cooking On A Budget” programme from January until March in South Earl Street in Dublin 8. The primary aim was to equip residents, particularly older individuals and those with limited incomes, with essential cooking skills and nutritional knowledge to promote overall wellbeing.

The classes welcomed families of all ages from both SICCDA/RECDP groups and the wider community. Through a series of eight-week classes, participants engaged in hands-on activities aimed at enhancing meal planning, cooking techniques, and nutrition understanding.

Interactive and Collaborative Sessions

Each class, held for two hours weekly, delved into various aspects of budget-friendly cooking. Before diving into cooking demonstrations, participants engaged in discussions on optimizing food budgets and minimizing waste. Practical examples of affordable recipes were showcased, empowering participants to replicate them at home.

The project fostered a collaborative learning environment where participants actively contributed meal ideas and worked together on budget planning. Interactive discussions encouraged peer learning, while hands-on cooking activities provided practical experience in meal preparation.

Delicious and Cost-Effective Meals

Under the guidance of an instructor, participants prepared two nutritious family meals within each session, all under forty-five minutes and with a maximum weekly cost of €20. Leftover ingredients were creatively repurposed for the following week’s recipes.


Due to space constraints, each week’s class accommodated a maximum of eight participants and, upon completion of the classes, they all reported increased confidence in meal planning and preparation within their budget constraints. Furthermore, they reported reduced stress and improved overall well-being, highlighting the positive impact of the project on community members’ lives.

By providing practical skills, knowledge, and support, this programme promoted healthier food choices, improved dietary habits, and fostered community togetherness.

Mental Health Events Supported By Smart D8

Together with Dublin 8: Cultivating a Community of Wellness

As Summer approaches, Smart D8 remains steadfast in its mission to foster health and wellbeing in the Dublin 8 community. Following four successful months dedicated to nurturing (1) healthy eating habits, (2) physical wellbeing, (3) and successful and positive ageing, our focus in May shifts to the pivotal theme of mental health.

May Focus: Mental Health

Understanding the importance of mental health in shaping one’s quality life, Smart D8 proudly backs initiatives aimed at its cultivation. Mental health directly influences an individual’s ability to navigate life’s challenges, maintain meaningful relationships, and pursue personal aspirations. By championing mental health initiatives, Smart D8 aims to empower individuals with the resources, tools, and support systems necessary to enhance their resilience and overall wellbeing.

Therefore, Smart D8 is thrilled to kickstart the month by supporting several esteemed organizations and professionals in the delivery of seven engaging mental health events:

1. Tusla Child and Family Agency – ‘New Authority Parenting’ workshop

Smart D8 will support Tusla in the delivery of the ‘New Authority Parenting’ workshop, where parents will learn how to set boundaries and build trust with their kids.

Many parents are telling us that their home life is very stressful with constant rows, damaged property, or even physical injury – and that this aggression comes from their children. We understand that it can be difficult for parents to talk about these experiences of child-to-parent violence and aggression. Therefore, we want to help. Around the city, there are services working successfully with many parents, using the Non-Violent Resistance (NVR) programme. This programme is designed to bring the violence and aggression to an end and to build a better and stronger relationship between parents and their children.

More information about new parenting can be found at:

Date: May 8th

Time: 5:30 pm – 8 pm

Location: iD8 Studio at The Gatelodge

2. Tusla Child and Family Agency – ‘ADHD Parenting’ workshop

Smart D8 will support Tusla in the delivery of the ‘ADHD Parenting’ workshop, where parents will learn how to overcome challenges and ensure their children reach their full potential.

Parenting a child with ADHD can bring special challenges, but with the right support parents can overcome these. The ADHD Parenting workshop is a new modified version of the evidence based Parents Plus Children’s programme that addresses the needs of parents of children with ADHD aged 6-12 years.

Date: May 15th

Time: 5:30 pm – 8 pm

Location: iD8 Studio at The Gatelodge

3. Matt Burke (Magic Minds Podcast & Foundation) – ‘Everyone Can Meditate’ workshop

Smart D8 will support Matt Burke in the delivery of the ‘Everyone Can Meditate’ workshop, where participants will learn how to relax and destress through this educational, practical and fun session of meditation and mindfulness.

This session will include an introduction to meditation and its various types, the science and the benefits behind mindfulness and meditation, simple and practical tips to introduce mindfulness and meditation into participants’ lives, sound healing, guided meditations, and the power of visualization.

Matt is the founder of the Magic Minds Podcast and Foundation and his aim and intentions in life are to inspire people of all ages to acquire the skills, knowledge, and confidence to improve their own mental and physical health and wellbeing. He is the author of “My head to my heart”, a mindfulness and gratitude activity journal, and he has been facilitating many successful workshops in schools, colleges and companies nationwide for years.

Magic Minds’ website:

Magic Minds’ main sponsor:

Date: May 21st

Time: 1 pm – 2 pm

Location: iD8 Studio at The Gatelodge

4. Turn2Me – ‘Managing Your Anxiety’ workshop

Smart D8 will support Turn2Me, Ireland’s leading online mental health charity, in the delivery of the ‘Managing Your Anxiety’ workshop, where participants will learn how to pave the way to brighter and calmer days by learning how to navigate anxiety.

During this empowering workshop, participants will dive into practical strategies for managing anxiety and cultivating inner peace with insights from Turn2Me’s esteemed CEO. Whether attendees are seeking personal growth or are simply curious about enhancing their mental wellbeing, this in-person workshop promises to equip them with invaluable tools and resources.

Date: May 22nd

Time: 1 pm – 2 pm

Location: The Learning Studio at The Digital Depot

5. Common Ground & The Family Resource Centre –‘Prioritising Well-Being & Mental Health’ workshop

Smart D8 will support Common Ground, The Family Resource Centre St Michael’s Estate and the artist/dancer Philippa Donnellan in the delivery of the ‘Prioritising Well-Being and Mental Health’ workshop, where participants will enjoy the sense of wellbeing that dancing brings.

During this workshop, there will be the screening of their film “We Love Dancin”. For two years, during the hardest Covid times from 2020 to 2023, The Family Resource Centre’s group met with Philippa. These weekly sessions were held in the open air, in the local school and in the People’s Pavilion in The Irish Museum Of Modern Art. Throughout the event, attendees will have a chance to dance with the group and Philippa, hear their favourite dance tracks, and get to know their favourite spots to dance in Dublin back in the day.

Date: May 28th

Time: 10 am – 12:30 pm

Location: Bay 1 at The Digital Depot

6. Simone Meschnig – ‘Laughter Yoga’ session

Smart D8 will support Simone Meschnig, Laughter Yoga Leader and Sound Healing Practitioner, in the delivery of the ‘Laughter Yoga’ session, where participants will learn how to laugh their stress away during this fun-filled session that will boost their mood and improve their wellbeing.

During this session, attendees will do gentle stretches combined with giggles and laughter, leaving the class much lighter, energized and with a big smile on their face.

Simone has been leading laughter yoga classes since 2010 and, through her warm and cheerful nature, participants have always felt welcomed and comfortable from start to finish. Simone is a sound healing practitioner & teacher, a yoga & meditation teacher, and an artist & laughter yoga leader. She has been leading classes for companies, health centres, nursing homes and schools, and has been on Radio.

Simone’s website:

Date: May 29th

Time: 1 pm – 2 pm

Location: iD8 Studio at The Gatelodge

7. St Patrick’s Mental Health Services – ‘Managing Burnout & Stress: Is BOSS The Boss Of You?’ talk

Smart D8 will support St Patrick’s Mental Health Services in the delivery of the ‘Managing Burnout And Stress: Is BOSS The Boss Of You?’ talk, where participants will learn how to take charge and beat burnout, defeating the feeling of being constantly overwhelmed.

During this interactive talk, participants will learn about burnout and stress, exploring a variety of topics with insights from St Patrick’s Mental Health Services Programme Manager, Debbie Van Tonder. During the session, attendees will learn how to identify burnout stress syndrome (BOSS), the different causes of BOSS, how to develop resilience, how to develop healthy coping strategies to decrease burnout and stress, and how to become the boss of BOSS.

Date: May 30th

Time: 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm

Location: Conference Room at St Patrick’s University Hospital

Stay Engaged, Stay Updated

The aim of these initiatives is to bring people together and support them in their mental health journeys. We want to create a friendly environment where individuals can make new friends and learn about different topics, experiencing how no one is alone in their struggles.

Smart D8 is committed to supporting initiatives aimed at enriching the health and wellbeing of the Dublin 8 residents.

If you would like to see the workshops testimonials, please visit

If you would like to see workshops overview video, please visit

If you would like our assistance in organizing and delivering a health and wellbeing event, please do not hesitate to contact us at