Prison Programme - Community Based Health & First Aid

home Our Work In Ireland Prison Programme - Community Based Health & First Aid

The award-winning Irish Red Cross prison programme is a unique approach to raising community health, hygiene awareness and first aid in prisons using groups of special status Irish Red Cross Volunteer Inmates as peer-to-peer educators.

The programme operates under a partnership of the Irish Red Cross, the Irish Prison Service and Education & Training Boards (ETBs). It was initially piloted in Wheatfield prison in June 2009  and was extended to all 14 prisons throughout Ireland by 2014.

Watch more videos from the Prison Programme on Youtube here, which were filmed by the International Federation of the Red Cross in 2013.

Ireland was the first country in the world to introduce the Community Based Health and First Aid (CBHFA) programme in a prison setting. The CBHFA programme was originally designed by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to be facilitated globally in communities in a simple and flexible way.

The initiative benefits the prisoner community daily and also benefits prison staff and families of prisoners. Evaluation of the programme has demonstrated high impact in terms of positive developments within the prison environment. Projects under the programme  have led to a significant increase in healthcare awareness and prisoners' personal wellbeing.


• International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) 2015 Volunteering Development Award

• Irish Institute of Training & Development (IITD) National Awards 2013, Training Award

• Irish Healthcare Awards November 2012, Commendation Award for Best Public Health Initiative

• Bionmis Irish Healthcare Awards May 2012, Best Health Promotion Project

• World Health Organisation Award in 2011 for Best Practice in Prison Health     

For an overview of our prison programme, reports and resources click here.