Engage with Age has been nominated by Belfast City Council for the All Ireland Pride of Place Awards 2015 for their Hope project, which is funded by Big Lottery Fund.
Hubs for Older People, or HOPE, is a four-year project that is working to find isolated older people, bring them to one of the hubs, and get them involved in activities that improve their quality of life. The project is funded with £423,706 from Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Out Connecting Older People programme.
For the project, Engage With Age are establishing six local hubs with six senior citizens forums across Belfast and Castlereagh. Activities delivered at the hubs include health and well-being programmes, social outings, reminiscence workshops, physical activities, creative activities and community events.
Pride of Place awards are an all-island competition that acknowledges the work that communities are doing all over the island of Ireland. Engage With Age has won the award before in 2008.
“This is a very prestigious community development award presented by Co-Operation Ireland, and we are one of only five community development organisations in Belfast nominated, so it is a great honour,” said Director of Engage with Age, Margy Washbrook.
The Pride of Place judges will be visiting the group in August to interview them about the project, its impact and its legacy. If they are successful, prizes will be presented at an award ceremony in Ennis, Co. Clare in November this year.
Big Lottery Funding Officer Gillian Irvine is very happy that the project has been nominated for the award: “The HOPE project has really done a great job of giving older people a voice, giving them activities they had actually asked for, and helping them connect with other older people. It has made a huge difference to the lives of older people across Belfast. This is exactly the sort of thing we wanted the Reaching Out Connecting Older People programme to achieve and it makes us proud to be funding it.”