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Community Outreach

An Cuan Programme

An Cuan Programme is designed to break down barriers and make the activities of the Sanctuary available and accessible to adults of all ages and abilities, with a particular emphasis on people who are going through a vulnerable period in their life.

The word An Cuan means harbour in Irish and it represents presence, resilience and stillness.

The Elements of the Programme

People attending the programme are encouraged to attend both elements of the programme to gain maximum benefit:

Guided Meditation

First Thursday of every month
2.00 pm – 3.00 pm

Note: Referral is not required to attend the meditation. [Referral is required for holistic treatments and the Befrienders programme.]

People have the opportunity to learn the basics of visualisation and meditation. Hopefully this will enable them to bring the stillness of the Sanctuary into their everyday life.

There is an informal Tea/coffee afterwards from 3.00 pm – 3.30 pm which people are welcome to attend.

Holistic Treatments

Days and times vary according to availability of voluntary therapists.

Treatments such as massage, Reiki and reflexology are available on a reduced price basis.

Each client can avail of up to six treatments. The rate is €10.00 per person if the client is paying for themselves and €25.00 per person if the organisation is paying for the client and makes the booking.

The facilitators and therapists on all An Cuan activities are made up of in-house staff as well as volunteers and freelance facilitators.

The charges for the An Cuan activities do not cover costs and the Sanctuary uses funds from different sources and revenue from other events to run this programme. For this reason, we encourage clients who may be in a position to do so, to contribute more financially to the programme.


We have set aside the last Friday of each month for garden volunteers to work as part of a group.

How the volunteer day works in practice is that a core group of 3-5 people turn up, most of these have some horticultural experience and some in fact work as gardeners.

Sometimes other people also join the core group and they are very welcome.

We have limited tools here in our shed and most people bring their own set of gloves.

Occasionally a member of staff from the Sanctuary is also in the garden to give some guidance but this depends on what is happening in the office.

Working in the Garden

Some people come for an hour and some come for the whole day – which runs from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

We provide a light lunch with a cup tea at around 1:00 pm.

The work is mainly weeding, sweeping, cutting back plants and painting.

We are not in a position to provide horticultural training and people largely need to be able to work on their own initiative as we don’t currently have resources to provide a Sanctuary staff member to give guidance.

An Cuan Programme Aims

The programme aims to:

  • Target those who may not be able to access other Sanctuary programmes and who are in a vulnerable position or going through a vulnerable period in their life.
  • Be a welcoming place for all, respecting whatever background or situation they may be coming from, without individuals accessing it being labelled or becoming associated with a particular service.
  • Offer a place of stillness to those going through vulnerable periods in their lives.
  • Offer guided meditation and treatments, giving a taste of Sanctuary activities.
  • Be a bridging service for people who are already connected with a service or organisation. ‘An Cuan’ aims to provide participants with new experiences and the opportunity to mix with people outside their own service, from all walks of life.
  • Reduce the sense of institutionalisation for people attending services.
  • The An Cuan Programme is also a bridge to other day and evening programmes in the Sanctuary. People attending are encouraged to continue their contact with the Sanctuary after they move on from their service or finish the programme.

Organisations and Services Connected with An Cuan

As An Cuan is aimed to be a bridging service for people accessing organisations/services, the Sanctuary must approve such organisations.

Organisations/services accepted onto the programme should:

  • Be established and registered
  • Be in operation for a minimum of six months.
  • Provide services to people who are vulnerable.
  • Have clear goals for clients and a coherent ethos and philosophy.
  • Have a clear understanding of how the An Cuan programme may benefit their clients.

A key contact in the organisation/service will be the main contact person for the Sanctuary. This must be someone who will be available. A second contact will be identified as back up. The Sanctuary reserves the right to remove an organisation/service from the list if it deems it necessary. 

Just some of our Top Partners/Organisations who avail of the Cuan Programme for their clients:

  • The Stanhope Centre
  • Soilse
  • HSE Primary Care Centre’s
  • Chrysalis Community Centre
  • Business in the Community
  • Snug Counselling Service
  • Focus Ireland
  • Dublin Simon Community


Clients attending the An Cuan programme therapies must be 18 years or older, and be referred by a person who will act as a key contact with the Sanctuary. This key contact person is crucial to the clients gaining maximum potential from participation in the programme. A minimal amount of background information on our An Cuan clients is required. All information related to clients is securely filed in the Sanctuary. Their referral must be renewed every 12 months. A referral is not needed for the weekly meditation.

After An Cuan

One of the reasons for starting the An Cuan Programme was to make our activities as inclusive as possible and to ensure the Sanctuary is accessible to everyone in our community. It is our hope that people will continue on An Cuan for as long as possible. If after one year clients do not want to continue with the programme or their referral is not renewed, we hope that they will stay in contact with the Sanctuary and continue to come to some of the Sanctuary Evening courses and Workshops held throughout the year which we can arrange at a reduced rate of 10% for Social Welfare/low income recipients.

The Sanctuary also offers private holistic treatments which can be booked through our excellent Therapists.

With therapies such as: Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Reiki, Massage and Integrated Energy Therapy

Paul Byrne E: heavensenttherapies123@gmail.com M: 087 948 0767

For further information, please contact: Reception 01 670 5419