Prison CBHFA Programme

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. Operating under a partnership between the Irish Red Cross, the Irish Prison Service and Education & Training Boards.  Initially piloted in Wheatfield prison in 2009 it has since been implemented in all 14 prisons throughout Ireland including in Limerick Prison where the programme started in 2014.

Ireland was the first country in the world to introduce the programme through special status Irish Red Cross Volunteer Inmates in a prison setting. Community Based Health & First Aid in Action (CBHFA) 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 over 4,000 prisoners directly everyday and 12,000 indirectly including staff and the families of the prisoners.  Evaluation of the programme has demonstrated high impact in terms of improvement within the prison environment as well as projects that have lead to a significant increase in healthcare awareness and prisoner’s personal well-being.



Watch more videos from the Irish Red Cross Prison Programme on Youtube here


  • 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, Won Best Health Promotion Project
  • World Health Organisation Award in 2011 for Best Practice in Prison Health