Big Lottery Fund in Northern Ireland joined forces with The Atlantic Philanthropies, Community Foundation for NI and Lloyds TSB Foundation to hold the “Achievements, Challenges and the Road Ahead for an Ageing Population” event in Mossley Mill, Newtownabbey on 9 February 2012.
This event generated a lot of interest and provided the opportunity for lively discussion. More than 100 delegates from a wide variety of organisations came along to listen to keynote presentations from speakers, and take part in small group sessions and a panel discussion.
The event brought together policy-makers, groups from the voluntary and community sectors and representatives from the public and the private sector. It provided a chance to raise the key policy issues and share the positive experiences of projects we have funded and to highlight the expertise that exists in older people’s groups.
Claire Keatinge, Commissioner for Older People NI, and Emma Stone, Policy Director of Joseph Rowntree Foundation were the key speakers in the morning and they addressed many of the policy issues, and both focussed on a common theme – the importance and need to change attitudes towards ageing.
It was great to hear people from projects that work with older people speak about their experiences. Terry McNeill highlighted the work of Springfield Charitable Association’s Tri Age Project. This project is supported by a grant from Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Out: Connecting Older People programme.
Their project aims to tackle all forms of disadvantage in older people, in particular those who have been diagnosed or are at higher risk of developing dementia and other associated illnesses. They are working towards removing barriers and actively promoting participation and engagement, of those who might be considered hard-to-reach.
Thank you to all the speakers and workshop facilitators and to everyone who participated in the event and by contributing their opinion made it so worthwhile and inspiring.
And finally, check out the new website ‘A Better Life’ launched by Joseph Rowntree Foundation.