Be smart, be happy, have fun


Posted on: 10th February, 2014

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

The Smart Happy Project website is the first step towards launching a new magazine for children that encourages a participation in nature and particularly natural geometry. As the website says it’s ‘Everything you want them to do before they turn the TV on’.

The Smart Happy Project is inspired by a desire for something a bit more wholesome than the commercial magazines that are driven by TV. “I want it to be like a journal toolkit for young explorers, with pages that you cut out to make stuff or stick together,” says creator Lisa Lillywhite. “The website has tips for seeing flowers and leaves and birds, as well as facts about the numbers and geometry that are part of the world around us.”

Lisa had a career as stage designer for the entertainment industry in London for 14 years before having children and remembering her days growing up in a wild garden with freedom to roam, she moved to West Cork in 2009.

The Smart Happy Project recently hosted ‘Project Wild Thing’, a film about children and nature. In the film, David Bond is a family man who appoints himself the marketing director for nature to resell the outdoors to the younger generation. “We sell everything under the sun, now we’re going to sell the sun!” Along his journey, he discovers the true extent to which the young are disconnected from nature, highlighting issues of peer pressure, parental fear, town planning and a general onslaught of the giants of screen advertising, all as reasons that we’ve arrived at this point of disconnection from nature.

“There was a real vibe on the night and everyone left really inspired to make a few changes,” says Lisa. “Many said it was a ‘wake up call’ and commented how it ‘makes you think about your own actions’.”

The film’s lighthearted approach prompted viewers to question their own interactions with nature. “I have been challenged about my complacency in thinking that just because my family live in a beautiful area like West Cork, we are ok. But after reading Richard Louv’s book, ‘Last Child in the Woods’, I realised it’s not so much about location but rather attitudes to nature, which we communicate to children,” explains Lisa. “I rush past nature in the car every day but I need to actually make the effort to enjoy it. So much time is spent working in front of a screen or checking my phone. There is a world of wonder out there and we are missing it! If we don’t love it and value it ourselves, neither will our children.”

Lisa first heard about the film last year around the time she was launching The Smart Happy Project. “The themes seemed to resonate so well with what it’s about that I really wanted to take the opportunity to screen the film and bring an awareness of the issues. I have been really encouraged by the response to both. Sometimes it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the scale of the problem, so we want to harness people’s enthusiasm by giving them some practical ideas to get involved with right away.  That’s what the Smart Happy Project is about. This isn’t rocket science — it really is as simple as grabbing your wellies and going,” says Lisa passionately.

The next event organised by The Smart Happy Project is a ramble in Castlefreke Woods in Clonakilty on Saturday, February 15 at 3pm. Contact Lisa on 086 796 2202 for more information and come along and bring the family!

A sample of the magazine can be viewed online at Join the membership with your email address to hear about more local events and the launch of the printed edition this year.

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Visiting restrictions in place at Bantry General Hospital due to Flu Presentations

Strict visitor restrictions have been put in place with immediate effect at Bantry General Hospital due to the number of patients who have presented with flu like symptoms.

In the interest of patient care and in order to restrict the spread of the flu virus within the hospital, it is necessary with immediate effect to ban all visitors to Bantry General Hospital, with the exception of following: critically ill patients are restricted to one visitor per critically ill patient and confined to visiting times only, and attendance at the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) and Local Injury Unit (LIU) should only take place if absolutely necessary, only one relative per patient attending these areas.

The elderly, children, pregnant women or young adults, those with chronic illnesses or vulnerable others are advised not to visit. Outpatient, Day care services and routine hospital admissions are not affected.

All infection control measures are in place and every effort is being made to manage and contain the spread of the flu virus.

People with flu like symptoms are advised to contact their GP by phone in the first instance and avoid presenting at the Emergency Department at Bantry General Hospital.

Bantry hospital staff are asking people to think about all their care and treatment options and keep ED services for the patients who need them most. Others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service where their GP can refer them to an Assessment Unit the following day if required.
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8th January, 2018  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Cope Foundation's Happy Christmas from Cope Foundation. ... See MoreSee Less

What makes Christmas special? Children and adults we support, our incredible staff, families and supporters - these are the people who make our organisation so special every single day, but especially at Christmas! Meet some of them here... Thank you to the wonderful team at AV3 Media who kindly produced this video for us as a Christmas gift! To make a Christmas donation today, go to We believe that together we can do great things and with your support we can do so much more! Please SHARE our video so that more people can learn about the amazing things that happen at Cope Foundation! Evening Echo; Irish Examiner; The Southern Star; The Avondhu; Cork Independent; West Cork Times; West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork; Bandon Opinion/The Opinion; Vale Star; East Cork Journal; Cork Chamber - Faces of Cork Business; Cork City FC; Cork Institute of Technology - CIT; University College Cork; Corks RedFM 104-106; The KC Show Corks 96 FM; Cork's 96FM; Cork's Best; C103 Cork; Cork Airport; Cork Opera House: The Everyman; Cork County Council; County Cork; Cork City Council; CorkLike; CCCahoots; Cork On Ice; Glow Cork; CIT Cork School of Music; RTÉ Today; Ciaran Bermingham - Actor; Rob & Marian Heffernan; John Spillane; Ger Wolfe; Eimear O'Brien PR; Jack O Rourke; Theo Dorgan; Mahon Point Shopping Centre; Blackpool Shopping Centre & Retail Park

18th December, 2017  ·  

This is the real spirit of Christmas at Caseys of Clonakilty. ... See MoreSee Less

Are you alone or do you know someone who will be alone this Christmas? If so, then we here at Casey’s would like to make your day that little bit easier. We are offering a full Christmas dinner on us! Christmas dinners can be collected Christmas Eve from 12:30pm - 8:30pm. Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas from everyone at Casey’s

15th December, 2017  ·  

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s has just announced its Christmas schedule and it features several programmes of interest to listeners in West Cork.

On New Year’s Day at 12.08 pm we’ll hear highlights from the Éigse Dhiarmuidín Festival that took place in West Cork in early December, remembering musician and broadcaster Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin. An Nollaig ar Oileán Chléire is an archive show presented by Mícheál Ó Sé on Wednesday 27 December at 5.30 pm about Christmas on Cape Clear and on Friday 29 December and 5 January at 7 pm, Peadar Ó Riada will bring us very special editions of his Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme from Múscraí. Keep an ear out!
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15th December, 2017  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Garda Síochána - Cork, Kerry & Limerick - Southern Region's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

REMINDER: An Garda Siochana are hosting a Retail Crime Prevention Meeting, to be held at 7pm on Wednesday 29th November 2017. This meeting will be held in the Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon. This meeting is one of a series being held across the West Cork Garda Division, in association with Operation Thor, the Garda National Anti-Crime Strategy. The purpose of the meeting is to increase the cooperation between Gardai and the retail sector, ensuring that the current low levels of crime in the locality extends past the busy approaching Christmas season. The meeting will be addressed by the local Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Ian O’ Callaghan, who will discuss burglary prevention, shoplifting, fraud, and cybercrime. There will be a particular focus on cash handling and cash exposure of businesses in the run up to the Christmas shopping period. All aspects of commercial crime will be discussed, and we would strongly urge all businesses to make a special effort to attend on the evening.

28th November, 2017  ·  

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