Thursday, 30 April 2020

Nature Photography - #NatureMoves

Mental Health Ireland tell us you don't have to climb mountains, venture far from home or even leave the house at all to feel the benefits of being in nature.  They are asking us to share a nature photo on social media showing how you are enjoying nature during Covid restrictions and beyond  using the hashtag #NatureMoves
It can be of your favourite spot in your garden, your daily stroll around your neighbourhood or countryside, or a sunset that swept you off your feet.  Here are some of the beautiful photographs  sent in by trainees and staff during the Covid restrictions. 
For more information on mental health go to or follow on social media @MentalHealthIrl

Photo by Naoimi of cattle grazing in the field #NatureMoves
Photo by Ian overlooking the peak of Benbulben in Yeats Country #NatureMoves
Photo by Katelyn of the sun setting in a burnt orange sky #NatureMoves

Photo by Naoimi enjoying some time with her cat #NatureMoves

Cool photo by Alex of his pet bearded dragon on a sunny day in Gurteen #NatureMoves

Photo by Alice of a lovely sunset in Sligo #NatureMoves

Photo by Steven enjoying the moment watching the sun set #NatureMoves

Photo by Lauren out for a stroll on the beach #NatureMoves

Photo captured by Steven of the rugged country landscape #NatureMoves

Photo by Lisa 'A carpet of bluebells lie under the trees' #NatureMoves

Photo by Danny taken in his back garden 'the sky is aglow with the setting sun' #NatureMoves
Photo by Lisa 'A tranquil walk through the forest with plenty of nature to explore and enjoy' #NatureMoves

Photo by Janell 'Dandelion seeds ready to disperse back-lit by a beautiful Spring sunset' #NatureMoves

Photo taken by Joey at the Back Avenue, Doorly Park looking across at Benbulben.  #NatureMoves
Photo captured by Oisin of a lovely sunset in Dromahair. #NatureMoves

Iosif took this photo while out fishing on the Garavogue River #NatureMoves

Photo taken by Samantha of an amazing view of Rosses Point overlooking the beach and ocean #NatureMoves

Photo by Mary 'A day in the bog' #NatureMoves
Photo by Adam of a beautiful Sligo skyline
Photo by Catherine of wild daisies in a meadow #NatureMoves
Photo by Zikrullah of red tulips and spring flowers in the background #NatureMoves
Photo by Zikrullah of the hills and trees in north Sligo #NatureMoves

Photo by Mary high up of the hills of Geevagh with a glimse of Croagh Patrick in the distance #NatureMoves

Dealing with Money Problems

Money Worries

We all know that this a very challenging time for many people, may be someone in your household has lost their job or you know longer have a part time job.

If you or your household have been affected by loss of income due to job loss or reduced hours the Money and Advice Budgeting Service (MABS) can help.  MABS can support you to manage your money and talk through the options available to you.

They have online resources in the debt and budgeting areas as follows:

If you would prefer to talk you can call the MABS Helpline on 0761 07 2000, Monday to Friday, from 9am to 8pm.

Compiled by Emer

Sligo CTC Cookery Corner - Chocolate Chip Cookies

8oz Butter
8oz Sugar
1 Egg
12oz Self-raising flour
4 drops Vanilla essence
3oz Chocolate chips

1. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together.
2. Add the beaten egg, sieved flour and chocolate chips.
3. Place baking paper on a baking tray.
4. Add a tablespoon of cookie dough at a time on the baking sheet.
5. Bake at 170oc for 12 minutes.
6. Let cool on the baking tray before lifting off.

Recipe by Emma

Sligo CTC Cookery Corner - Pork and Apple Meatballs

Pork and Apple Meatballs

500g lean pork mince (5% fat or less)
2 medium apples, finely grated
1 small onion, finely chopped (I use red its sweeter)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or dried parsley
Salt and Pepper

Tomato Sauce
2 tbsp. Olive oil (I use spray oil it's healthier)
110g/4oz onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp caster sugar (it helps break down the acidity in the tomatoes)
2 x 400g cans tomatoes
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 180oC.
Put the mince, apples, onion, worcestershire sauce, garlic and parsley in a food processor and blitz until just combined. Season, with salt and pepper then divide into 16/18 portions and shape each into a meatball.
Place in an oven proof dish and set aside.

Sauté (fry) the onion and garlic until they get soft.
Add the 2 tins of chopped tomatoes and cook for about 5 mins.
Add the sugar and season with salt and pepper.
Pour the sauce over the meatballs.
Cover with tinfoil and place in the oven for approx. 45/50 mins.
Remove from oven.
Serve with spaghetti and enjoy!

Recipe by Lisa (Chef in the CTC kitchen)

Sligo CTC Cookery Corner - Lemony Roast Chicken Couscous

If you want to keep busy over the May bank holiday weekend why not cook or bake some of the delicious recipes on the Sligo CTC cookery corner.  For something light on these nice sunny days why not try Mairead's refreshing Lemony Roast Chicken Couscous.  Thanks to our chef Lisa who sent in a family favourite 'Meatballs' or maybe bake some of  Emma's yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies. Enjoy 😋

Lemony roast chicken couscous

Ready in only 15 minutes!

Ingredients - Serves 4 Adults
  • 4 cooked chicken breasts, sliced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 30ml of olive oil
  • 300g of couscous
  • 400ml of hot low-salt chicken stock
  • 250g of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 50g of toasted pine nuts
  1. For the dressing whisk together the lemon zest and juice, and olive oil.
  2. Place the chicken in a bowl and pour the dressing over it.
  3. Cover and leave to marinade in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  4. Place the couscous in a bowl and pour over the hot stock.
  5. Leave for about 10 minutes until the stock has absorbed.
  6. Mix in the tomatoes, pine nuts and chicken with the couscous and serve. 
 Recipe by Mairead

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Photography #NatureMoves

Mental Health Ireland tell us you don't have to climb mountains, venture far from home or even leave the house at all to feel the benefits of being in nature.  They are asking us to share a nature photo on social media showing how you are enjoying nature during Covid restrictions and beyond  using the hashtag #NatureMoves
It can be of your favourite spot in your garden, your daily stroll around your neighbourhood or countryside, or a sunset that swept you off your feet.  Here are some of the photographs Emer put up on our social media @sligoctc taken by trainees and staff.

Photo taken by Joey at the Back Avenue, Doorly Park looking across at Benbulben.  #NatureMoves

Photo captured by Oisin of a lovely sunset in Dromahair. #NatureMoves

Iosif  took this photo while out fishing on the Garavogue River #NatureMoves

Dandelion seeds ready to disperse back-lit by a beautiful Spring sunset #NatureMoves
Photo by Janell

A tranquil walk through the forest with plenty of nature to explore and enjoy #NatureMoves
Photo by Lisa

Sligo Leader Partnership - Mindfulness & Meditation with John Graham

Check out this short introduction to mindfulness and meditation with the fantastic John Graham in association with Sligo Leader Partnership Ltd.  John has worked successfully with groups in our centre on a number of occasions. These 'Calm a Busy Mind' sessions are available on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday at 8pm. You can catch up on all sessions to date on YouTube at

Session 1 Introduction to Mindfulness

John is also doing some live sessions on his Facebook page this week @johngcoaching

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Creative Drawing - Car

Drawing today by Zikrullah

Art with Catherine - Creative Drawing

Sligo Leader Partnership - Make-up Tutorial

Sligo Leader Partnership has a new YouTube Channel with some excellent tutorials and tips with Ann Young, Make-Up Artist in Sligo on skin care, make-up, the natural look, eye lashes, body scrub and shellac polish.  Some of our trainees in the centre have a great interest in applying make-up so these tutorials are well worth checking out when in self-isolation. Enjoy 😍

Make-up Tutorial


Body Scrub

For more tutorials check out the Sligo Leader Partnership on YouTube:

or follow @SligoLeader on Facebook

Monday, 27 April 2020

Motivational Monday

Illustration by Catherine

Health and Wellbeing - Active Sligo from Home

‘Active Sligo from Home’ guide has been compiled by Sligo Sports and Recreation Partnership as an online resource to capture some of the many innovative ideas developed for home exercise during this time when we are all adhering to the social distancing limitations of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The resource caters for all ages, fitness levels and sporting interests and is categorised into 8 sections with links to Children/Youth & Family Activities, Aging Well Activities, Home Workouts/Fitness, Activities for All Abilities, Bringing the Outdoors Home, Find your Sport- NGB Activities, Coach Education/ Training and Mind Your Wellbeing.

‘Active Sligo from Home’ guide can be accessed on the SSRP website at the  link below and will be updated with new information as it comes to hand.

For more info go to:

Health and Wellbeing - COVID-19 Support

Health and Wellbeing - Mindfulness

3 Mindful Breaths with The Sanctuary

Sligo CTC has a long-standing relationship with The Sanctuary, a meditation centre for social change located in the heart of Dublin City.  Over the years many of our staff have participated in their wonderful programmes. This has allowed us to introduce mindfulness in our centre as part of our ongoing efforts to promote positive mental health and well-being.
In normal times we are lucky to have our sessions in the centre facilitated by Mary but now that we are all staying at home as part of the national effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 it’s useful to know that there are still simple ways to continue our mindful practice.
We encourage you to try The Sanctuary’s ‘3 Mindful Breaths’.  This nice simple practice can be done at any time of the day!  And if you’re feeling inspired The Sanctuary want to hear from you so why not post your photos or videos on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag: #thesanctuary3mindfulbreathsforcovid19 and tag @thesanctuaryd7

See below for more details:

Compiled by Janell

Friday, 24 April 2020

Sunset in Sligo

A beautiful sunset in Sligo this week captured by Janell.  What a lovely scene to end the week!  Have a nice weekend.  #StaySafeStayHome

Gardening with Aideen - Planting Sunflowers

Hi Everyone

Let’s keep up the CTC Sunflower Growing Competition!  This is a lovely gardening project to work on over the weekend!

Most supermarkets are selling seeds so who ever goes shopping ask them to get a pack for you. 
What you will need:
  • Pack of sunflower seeds - approx. €3.00  
  • Good garden soil or compost
  • Containers or pots:  Any pots or containers you can find ie yogurt / ice cream cartons and put a drainage hole in the bottom.  – do this safely!
  • Clear plastic bags
  • Water
What to do:
1. Fill the containers to the brim with compost or good textured soil from the garden.  Give the pot a tap down to settle the soil.

2. Make a small 1.5cm deep hole in the centre of the pot and pop in the seed.  Cover the seed lightly with soil and then water.  In bigger pots put 2 -3 spaced apart.

3. Place the pots on a tray to catch the water and put them some were warm like a window sill.  To really start the germination, place a plastic bag on top of the pot.  This will keep them warm and gets the seed to germinate.

4. Don’t forget to water every few days.

5. Seedlings should take 14–21 days to germinate.  Once they start looking strong remove the plastic and soon you can start moving them out doors to a nice sunny part of your garden or yard. They can now be transplanted into bigger containers or straight into the flowerbeds.

Take photos at different stages and hopefully by July you should have some Big Happy Flowers.
Enjoy and always wash our hands!!  Aideen

Covid-19 Support

For more info go to 

Leitrim Community Call helpline for support:  1800 852 389

Thursday, 23 April 2020

CTC Cookery Corner - Sausage Rolls

450g minced pork
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 - 2 tsp thyme, marjoram, basil and rosemary, mixed and chopped
1 egg, beaten
150g soft breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
For the pastry
300g (10oz) puff pastry (you can buy frozen pastry for convenience)
1 egg, beaten
A little milk
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Combine all the ingredients for the  sausages together and mix well. Fry a little of the mixture in a pan to check the seasoning, adjust if necessary.
2. On a floured work surface, roll the pastry out into a big rectangle, a little thicker than a one euro coin, and cut length ways into two long, even rectangles. You can spread a thin layer of relish along the two rectangles.
3. Roll the sausage mixture into sausage shapes with your hands and lay along the centre of each rectangle. Mix the egg and milk and brush the pastry with the mixture, then fold one side of the pastry over, wrapping the filling inside. Press down with your fingers or the edge of a spoon to seal.
4. Cut the long rolls into the sizes you want and space them out on a baking tray. Brush with the rest of the egg wash and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until puffed, golden and cooked through.

Recipe by Mairead

CTC Cookery Corner - Shortbread Biscuits

Shortbread Biscuits

Makes 12 biscuits


150g (6oz) Flour
100g (4oz) Butter or margarine  (soft)         
50g (2oz) Castor sugar
Pinch of salt


1. Sift the flour and salt.

2. Mix in the butter or margarine and sugar with the flour.

3. Combine all the ingredients to a smooth paste.

4. Roll carefully on a floured table or board to a round or rectangle shape, (¼ inch) thick. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet.

5. Mark into the desired shape and size. Prick with a fork.

6. Bake in a moderate oven at 180-200Oc (gas 4-6; 350-400Of), for 15 minutes. 
Cool, and then dust with icing sugar.
At stage 3 you can add 2 tablespoons of grated chocolate to make chocolate shortbread biscuits or grated lemon or orange for fruit flavored biscuits. 

Recipe by Emma

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Earth Day

Today is Earth day, here are a few tips compiled by Emer to save energy:


Sligo CTC is proud to be involved with Gaisce over the last number of years.  Gaisce – The President’s Award is a self-development programme that encourages you to find your passion, get active and make a difference in your community! By taking part in Gaisce, you will take on exciting personal, physical and community challenges and develop new skills and new friendships.   

In our health promoting centre, Gaisce is headed up by our President Award Leaders Aideen and Steve. Trainees have created many fond memories and achieved bronze awards over the years. Today we are going to take a trip back and look at some of the treasured photographs as reminders of all the beautiful scenic places we visited and skills we learned over the years.  

The Gaisce group had the privilege of going on a hike to the Carrowkeel Passage Tombs, a very historical site that was very interesting to visit and had a great view from which we could see Lough Arrow.  We cycled all the way to the Gyreum Ecolodge, the facilities were fantastic and provided a unique experience that all the trainees enjoyed.

We climbed Truskmore, cycled, stayed in Benwisken Youth Hostel and lit a campfire.  We climbed Dartry Mountains and took in spectacular views of Sligo town and its surrounding areas including the Atlantic coastline, Glencar Lake and Glenif Horseshoe.  The trainees had to plan, train for and complete these outdoor Adventure Journeys as part of a team.  This was a unique, enjoyable and memorable experience, as well as an opportunity to experience self-sufficiency.

Of course not forgetting how some of the Gaisce trainees under the Community Involvement Activity, helped with building and developing our own Garden Project.  They made raised beds and helped convert the ex smoking shed into a fabulous green house under the guidance of Danny.  We've eaten so much of the organic produce over the years!!

As with many of the other CTC trainees, they have planted and weeded the front flower bed to give us a beautiful display when coming into train and work! Trainees also helped with the health promotion initiatives in the centre and last year the sports group did the 'Litter Pick' while out on their morning jog.  Well done to everyone involved.  You can continue to complete ‘Gaisce at home’ click here for more info:
Compiled by Aideen and Steve