New £10k project to champion the elderly

A £10,000 project which aims to engage senior citizens in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough to become their own advocates, has been set up.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 2:47 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 2:51 pm
Cllr Julie Flaherty, Lord Mayor Launches older peoples' project. Joe Garvey, Chairman, Richmount Rural Community Association speaking at the launch

Run by Richmount Rural Community Association it is hoped it will campaign for their needs to be listened to and to be addressed.

The project not only addresses the voices of seniors in the Association’s own area but further afield as well.

It also seeks to pool ideas for older people’s groups and share expertise and identify support for groups where assistance would be beneficial.

At the launch elected representatives and statutory agencies welcomed the project.

Chairman Joe Garvey said: “Everyone thinks they know what old age is like and what older people want and need but only one group of people who really knows and what matters to them is the older people themselves.

“Some older people, mainly because of work experience, are able to have an impact and get their message across.

“They may also have good access to information, contacts with decision makers and have experience of dealing with formal meetings, negotiating and working with large organisations.

“But for most older people the picture is different.

“They feel far removed from people in power and they do not feel well informed or confident enough to speak up when the ‘important’ peopleare talking about them.”

This project is funded by Community Foundation for Northern Ireland (Older People’s Policy, Advocacy and Campaigning fund).

The project will focus on: Social Isolation and loneliness, engendering respect for older people, dealing with anti-social behaviour, health and GP services.