St Mary’s NS is delighted to announce that the HAPPEE Project will be rolled out in St Mary’s NS in September 2023. HAPPEE stands for HEALTH ALLIANCES for PRACTICE-BASED PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION AND ENGAGEMENT. The project will initially be run over a two year pilot period. It is envisaged that this ground breaking partnership will be replicated throughout the country.

The HAPPEE project, sponsored by UL, Limerick Regeneration and St Gabriels, facilitates UL health professional students (Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Music – and potentially Nursing) to carry out their practice placements in school as opposed to clinical settings. The intention is to benefit the community by increased early identification of need, reducing non-attendance for interventions, and providing services in communities with community support; and to benefit UL by creating new and sustainable student placements.

HAPPEE  is a collaboration between staff and students in St Mary’s NS, Corpus Christí NS, Our Lady of Lourdes NS, Our Lady Queen of Peace NS, Le Chéile NS, Gaelscoil Sheoirse Clancy the School of Allied Health, UL and some local HSE service providers.

This project is intended to provide a full evidence base and impact assessment of the HAPPEE initiative with a view to understanding how such a prototype for community-based Practice-based (IPE) therapeutic placements could be scaled up and made sustainable.

Early intervention for children is crucial in addressing developmental delays, behavioural challenges and learning difficulties. It allows for timely support and interventions that can greatly improve a child’s long-term outcomes and quality of life.

For St Mary’s NS, it will mean our children will get access to placement students in UL throughout the year. We will also have access to the expertise of the clinical supervisors. It is hoped that this early intervention will have a huge impact on the educational outcomes and attainment of our pupils.