The Helplink Show September 2020
Tracey Egan, Irish Heart Foundation
Philip Stallard - New Wave Adventure Therapy
Tracey Egan of The Irish Heart Foundation
Every hour someone in Ireland suffers from a stroke. Every day,
hundreds of Irish people are diagnosed with heart disease.
The lives of these people are often cut tragically short. Many are
left disabled. Almost 9,000 people die each year, making heart
disease and stroke one of the nation’s biggest killers.
It shouldn’t be this way and this fact forms our reason for being.
We are the nation’s heart and stroke charity.
Our mission is to effect positive change in the lifestyles of
Irish people, to achieve better outcomes for those affected by
heart disease and stroke and to challenge when the health of our
nation is put at risk.
We empower people to live longer, healthier lives.
Philip Stallard: Director, Adventure
The New Wave Adventure Therapy Wild Project (CLG) is an exciting
new non-profit organisation that supports access to professional
adventure therapy in Ireland.
The ‘Wild Project’ offers a range of adventure therapy options,
including family and small group programmes workshops for student,
community and professional groups
bespoke collaborations with services around projects that meet
subsidised adventure therapy, subject to availability a responsive
and effective approach that remains person-centred and
Philip Stallard is passionate about the potential that
professional adventure therapy can offer individuals with a range
of complex needs. Philip learned early on in his career that an
emphasis on the quality of design and delivery of specialised
programmes yields the best results for the client. He saw this
directly through his practice as a personal trainer, and his
interest in health and physical activity led him to embark on an
Outdoor Instructor Traineeship where he gained a range of
instructor qualifications on both land and sea.
He quickly appreciated the power and respect commanded by nature,
especially the sea, and the adrenaline that comes with adventure
pursuits. With a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for
the outdoors, he embarked on a B.A. (Hons) in Adventure Tourism
Management at IT Tralee. His final year dissertation was a unique
primary research project titled, "The Use of Adventure Therapy
with At-Risk Teens".
This was the first time that primary research was conducted in a
secure residential setting in the Republic of Ireland. Philip
secured a place on a Research Masters programme in IT Tralee which
enabled him to carry out a review of the cooperative and
competitive nature of the adventure tourism industry in the
region. His thesis, "Enhancing the Irish Adventure Tourism Product
Through Networking" was completed in 2015. Despite a strong
leaning towards management, Philip continued to work at the
coal-face of social care in a specialised setting. He has been a
Social Care Worker in Coovagh House since 2009. Coovagh House is a
special care unit for young people at-risk, and Philip saw
first-hand the benefits that outdoor and adventure activities can
bring to young people in this setting.
With 8 years’ experience in this high-risk setting, and following
the results and recommendations of a number of peer-reviewed
papers on adventure therapy, Philip decided to continue with his
education and train to become a Social Worker. He completed a
Post-Graduate Diploma in Applied Social Studies in Trinity
College, Dublin and immediately secured a place on the Master of
Social Work (MSW) programme in University College, Cork. His two
professional placements on the MSW were in child protection and
mental health. These placements provided a unique insight into
current practice and allowed him to work with a range of
individuals, families and professional teams. He wrote his final
year dissertation around the potential for adventure therapy in
the Irish mental health system, "Adventure Therapy as an
Intervention in the Context of Mental Health Recovery in a
Structured Social Work Setting.”
Philip qualified in 2017 and is now fully registered with CORU and
Nagalro and is currently practicing as an Independent Social
Worker and Adventure Therapist.