Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Sunflowers and Strawberries

Our sunflowers and strawberries are starting to grow in the back garden!

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

YEP - Youth Employment Programme

YEP is a youth friendly guidance and support programme providing information and advice to help you take the next step towards choosing future career options.  Every Tuesday morning Anne Brennan, Information and Guidance Counsellor, attends Sligo CTC to provide this valuable one-one service.

The service can help you to:

Identify your interests and match these to suitable job areas
Explore training options and progression routes in education and employment
Research apprenticeships and courses in Sligo
Research fees, funding and grants for courses
Explore supports available for going to college
Develop CV writing skills
Improve interview skills

If you would like an appointment with Anne please contact your keyworker.

Monday, 21 May 2018

Mental Health Week - Fundraising walk for Pieta House



To mark the final day of Mental Health Week on Friday Sligo CTC Trainees and Staff had a healthy breakfast and took part in a fundraising walk. All money raised will be donated to Pieta House.  Well done to all who took part and donated!

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Mental Health Week - Gardening

Trainees planting sun flowers for Mental Health Week
It was a beautiful day yesterday and we were out  planting herbs, strawberries, sunflowers and watering plants. 


Mental Health Week - Walk


Trainees out for a walk for Mental Health Week

Mental Health Week - Tai Chi

Trainees got the opportunity to try out Tai Chi with Shane yesterday

Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that, today, is practiced as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing. It is great for keeping your mind focused. Tai Chi was originally thought by martial artists and was eventually passed down and thought outside of martial arts, the Chinese people believed movement of the body in a slow and controlled way is good for the body.  Trainees enjoyed trying out Tai Chi yesterday and thanks to Shane our instructor. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Mindfulness Session

Photo taken by Andrew along the Garavogue River.  Mary is doing some mindfulness sessions this week as part of mental health week.

Healthy Breakfast Muffins



Ingredients                                                                
125g Plain flour
75g wholemeal flour
200g rolled oats
75g brown sugar 
3 tsp baking powder 
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 bananas, mashed
2 large eggs, separated 
3 tbsp. sunflower oil
250 ml milk
125g blueberries 
Other ideas:
Add 50g currents to the mixture for a fruity muffin.
Substitute 50g of the rolled oats for 50g desiccated coconut.
Add 50g chocolate chips of your choice 
for a naughty but nice breakfast muffin.
50g other dried fruit such as cranberries.
50g hazelnuts or other nuts chopped up small. 

Method
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the plain flour, wholemeal flour, oats (or oats and coconut if using) brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

2. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the mashed bananas, egg yolks, milk and sunflower oil. Mix together gently with a wooden spoon until a wet batter forms but do not overmix.

3. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.

4. Gently fold the egg whites into the muffin batter along with the blueberries and any other additions you wish to include until everything’s mixed through evenly.

5. Divide the muffin mixture between 12 individual muffin cases and places in a preheated oven at 200C/fan 180C/Gas mark 6 for 25 minutes until its well risen and gladden brown on top.

6.     The muffins will for up to 4-5 days in a sealed tin or plastic container but perferbly eaten on the day or the day after baking for a fresher muffin. the muffins can also be frozen in a zipped plastic bag, thaw for 1 hour or until defrosted then pop in the oven for 10 minutes to reheat.

Mental Health Week - Herbal Tea's

Thanks to Sylvia for providing information on herbal teas this week. Staff and trainees are getting an opportunity of tasting some of these beautiful teas and learning about their benefits!


What is herbal tea?

Herbal tea is an infusion of leaves, seeds, roots or bark, extracted in hot water. In drinking a well-steeped herbal tea, we get all the plant’s benefits in an easily digestible form. Herbal tea has lots of wonderful health benefits. From soothing a troubled tummy to easing insomnia and calming a troubled mind, anxiety herbs have all sorts of healing powers. Drinking herbal tea can also be a great source of vitamins and minerals.

Some of the teas we tried out were Peppermint, Lemon Ginger, Chamomile, Rooibos ( Red bush tea), Rosehip, Dandelion and Lemon Balm (Melissa) tea

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Simple, Soft and Chewy Granola Bars Recipe

Catering trainees are trying out new recipes that are focused on promoting healthy eating and is a part of the centres effort to promote mental health week and the importance of eating well to keep a good mental and physical health.


INGREDIENTS 

2 1/2 cups (230 grams)  rolled porridge  oats
1/2 cup (80 grams) whole almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup (113 grams) honey
1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup (50 grams) packet light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (60 grams) dried cranberries/apricots, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (65 grams) mini chocolate chips

METHOD


  • TOAST OATS AND NUTS

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bottom and sides of a 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil. Then lightly oil or spray with cooking spray.
    Add oats and almonds to a small baking sheet then bake 5 minutes, stir and bake another 3 to 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Transfer to a large bowl.

  • MAKE BARS

  • Combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract and the salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until butter melts and the sugar completely dissolves.
    Pour butter mixture in to bowl with toasted oats and almonds. Mix well. Let cool about 5 minutes then add cranberries and a 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine. (The chocolate chips will most likely melt a little. This is fine, they turn into glue and help to hold the bars together).
    Transfer oat mixture to lined pan then use a rubber spatula or damp finger tips to firmly press the mixture into the pan. (Press hard here, this way the bars will stay together once cooled and cut — We press for about one minute to be extra safe).
    Scatter remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips over pressed granola mixture then use a rubber spatula to gently press them into the top. Cover then refrigerate at least 2 hours. Remove block of granola mixture from pan then peel away aluminum foil. Cut into 12 bars.
    Store bars in an airtight container for up to one week. For the softest bars, keep at room temperature. For slightly harder bars, store in the fridge.

Planting a Sunflower Seed for Mental Health Week

Staff and Trainees are busy planting sunflower seeds today for our garden in support of mental health week in the centre!

Little things can make a big difference


Useful Websites - Mental Health


Monday, 14 May 2018

9 ways to look after your mental health


Bearing in mind, the state of your mental health isn’t fixed, it can be good or it can be poor, it’s important to know ways to look after it.


Here are some things anyone can try to help mind their mental health.
Exercise
There are many advantages to exercising. It helps increase energy levels, use up excess energy and can improve sleep patterns and fitness.  It also helps to manage stress and anger and can boost your confidence. All positive for your mental health.
Nutrition
Having a balanced diet can help with energy levels, weight control and self-esteem.
It’s easy to fall into bad habits, but is important to try and eat well and cut out junk food.
Relax
It’s very easy to overlook making time for yourself with the hectic pace of life we all lead.
It’s essential for your mental health that you find ways to take time out and relax. We all have different things we find relaxing; what we do isn’t as important as actually doing it.
Sleep
Sleep is crucial to our physical and mental health. It re-energises us, helps our bodies to heal and keeps our memory working properly.  There are many things you can do to improve your quality of sleep including exercise, avoiding stimulants and implementing a daily routine or bed-time.
Be mindful
Mindfulness is about learning to focus your attention on the present moment. Not worrying unduly about past or future problems can be hugely beneficial to your physical and mental health.
It can steady the breath, heart-rate, and improve the immune system and can help to deal with anxiety and depression.
Self-talk
Training the inner-voice in our head can be difficult, but worth-while. It’s important to learn not to talk to yourself in a negative or destructive way, such as thinking in black and white or constantly comparing yourself to others.
Set goals
Setting realistic goals, prioritising what’s important, and balancing our time can help in the management of our mental health. It gives us perspective on things and enables us to deal with problems more effectively.
Work on your self-esteem
Improving our self-esteem might seem like a constant battle, but it’s necessary in order to manage our mental health.  Challenging negative thinking, accepting yourself and not comparing yourself to others will help to develop your self-confidence.
Talk
Sometimes sharing things with friends and family can help you through and tough time, by helping you get some perspective.  Not only that, but staying connected and being social, anything from going to the movies or meeting people for a coffee, goes a long way to looking after your mental health.



Darkness into Light Walk

Photos taken by Kelly at the Darkness into Light Walk, Banada. Well done to all who participated from the centre in this years walk for Pieta House.

Mental Health Week 2018


Thursday, 10 May 2018

Leitrim CTC Official Opening


Cathaoirleach Finola Armstrong-McGuire spoke on the day 

Shaun Purcell CE MSLETB getting presented with an art piece from the trainees of Leitrim CTC



Tasty treats made by the catering trainees for all attendees
Leitrim CTC Hairdressing group and hairdressing room

Gavin Dykes General Manager, Shaun Purcell CE MSLETB and Michael Glennon Chairperson CTC speaking at the event
Cutting of ribbon by Shaun Purcell CE MSLETB and Cathaoirleach Finola Armstrong-McGuire 

Unveiling of the plaque by Shaun Purcell CE MSLETB and Cathaoirleach Finola Armstrong-McGuire





Darkness into Light







Next week Sligo CTC are holding our annual mental health week. As part of it some staff members and trainees are taking part in the darkness into light walk this Saturday 12th May at 4:15am.  Darkness into Light is vital for raising awareness and for bringing people together to raise awareness about mental health and suicide.  For more info or to register please go to: Darkness into Light

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Gardening - Planters for herbs

Trainees made a herb planter for planting some herbs - basil, parsley, sage, chives, rosemary etc


Growing Herbs
Herbs are easy to grow so anyone can do it!  Sow herbs from seed in seed trays from March or April. Place the trays on a sunny window sill and keep the soil moist. Thin out to one seedling per module when they germinate. Plant out in May.


Herbs to Try: Basil, Thyme, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, Marjoram, Mint and Chives.

Spotlight on Catering - Day 2 - Breakfast & Lunch


A typical day in the kitchen involves preparing breakfast for the staff and trainees. This includes fresh made scones, toast, preparing a cooked breakfast, hot and cold cereals etc.

Trainees preparing scones and fruit salad for breakfast

After breakfast we start preparing lunch for afternoon. This is a great way of practicing different skills, as the menu changes on a daily basis. When preparing the lunch menu. Catering trainees take into consideration the different dietary requirements for example: vegetarians, healthy options and food allergies.  
Examples of lunches Lasagne, Cottage Pie, Stew, Fish, Pasta, Salad, Chicken, Pork, Roast Beef, Vegetables, Pizza etc


As part of ongoing learning theory is incorporated into a typical day in the kitchen.



Pizza and salad being prepared for lunch by Lisa and  trainees today