Change For Life Programme


Since 2013, The Change For Life is a wellbeing programme that has enabled people across the city to improve their health and wellbeing. The programme adopts a holistic approach to improving health and wellbeing, encouraging participants to look after their mental and physical health while providing important social outlets for many people in our communities.

This year, this 8-week initiative took place from January until March 2024, and was delivered in different areas of the city, mostly in Dublin 8: Fatima, Dolphin House, Rialto, Bluebell, and Inchicore. The programme offered a comprehensive regimen of fitness activities and health education.

Partnerships and Support

The Change For Life Programme is the result of a dynamic partnership between Fatima Groups United (Family Resource Centre) and Dublin City Council Sports Partnership.

This year, the programme was also supported by Smart D8, HSE Health and Wellbeing, and CDETB. This collaborative effort ensured a holistic approach to health promotion and community development.

Objectives and Focus Areas

The primary objectives of the programme were to foster holistic wellbeing, promote healthy lifestyle choices, and encourage community engagement. By targeting areas such as physical health, mental health, and emotional resilience, the programme aimed to empower participants to make sustainable changes in their lives. People were encouraged to think about health and fitness in a broad sense.

To involve the participants in all the elements of the programme, a variety of activities were offered:

  • Health assessment and weight management advice;
  • Nutrition and cooking classes to promote awareness regarding healthy food and eating;
  • Exercise classes such as yoga, circuit training, tai-chi, reflexology, pickleball, aerobics, pilates, aqua, dancing, and zumba.

Participant Diversity and Engagement

This year, 249 individuals aged 2 – 90, took part in the programme!

The initiative catered to individuals of all backgrounds and abilities. From underactive adults to minority groups and homeless individuals, Change For Life embraced inclusivity and diversity. Sessions were tailored to accommodate varying needs, ensuring equal access to health-promoting activities.

Programme Highlights

Over the course of the 8-week programme, participants engaged in a range of activities including:

  • Pre-assessments (height, weight, BMI, measurements, blood pressure);
  • More than 40 weekly exercise classes to avail of;
  • One to one advice session and support;
  • Re-assessments at the end of the programme;
  • Celebration and graduation open to all participants and supporters.

Impact and Results

Pre-assessments revealed prevalent issues such as obesity and high blood pressure among participants. However, post-assessments showed significant improvements, including reductions in BMI, weight loss, and better blood pressure management.

Youth Involvement and Education

In addition to adult-focused activities, the programme included sessions tailored for children in crèches, preschools, and after-school programs. Through interactive sessions and engaging activities, children learned fundamental movement skills and developed a greater appreciation for physical activity.

Graduation and Community Celebration

The culmination of the programme was marked by a celebratory event where participants were recognized for their achievements and could then look forward with a healthier perspective on the year ahead. Awards were presented to individuals who demonstrated commitment, progress, and community involvement. The event served as a testament to the power of collective effort and community support in achieving wellness goals.


The Change For Life Programme exemplifies the transformative impact of community-led initiatives in promoting health and wellbeing. By fostering collaboration and inclusivity, Fatima Groups United and its partners have provided residents with the tools and support needed to embark on a journey towards healthier living. As the classes continue all year round beyond their initial timeframe, their legacy of resilience and empowerment will endure, inspiring positive change for years to come.