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.

Latest News Articles:

Issue of childcare a major concern for 72 per cent of female entrepreneurs
Rain, slurry deadlines and housing
Celtic Ross Hotel awarded AA Rosette for Culinary Excellence
St. Joseph’s in Clonakilty looks back on 50 years of educating young girls
‘Operation Transformation’ for Young Beef Farmers
Macra President welcomes publication of EU Young Farmer Survey
Vital role of Focus in the West Cork community highlighted at Open Morning
Clonakilty Food Company opens new production facility in Clonakilty
Beara student one of three Cork students awarded €20,000 scholarship by Naughton Foundation
International success for Skibb rowers

Join us on Facebook

Bandon Walled Town Festival in looking for new ideas!
Would you like to get involved in the 2018 Festival?If you yourself would like to be involved in big or small way
... See MoreSee Less

11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
... See MoreSee Less

11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at or text at 086/0476124.
... See MoreSee Less

26th September, 2017  ·  

Jump to: