Funded by the Northern Ireland Executive Office, through Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s Good Relations Action Plan and organised in partnership with the council and the Jethro Centre, Lurgan, the event featured taster workshops for Strength and Balance; Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing; and a session on safety from the Policing and Community Safety Partnership.
There were also around 40 information stands on services, activities and support available for older people.
Around 100 people from local older people’s groups attended on the day to socialise and enjoy a hot lunch followed by a dance.
Opening the event Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Mealla Campbell said: “It is great to be able to join with the Trust to offer this event which celebrates and welcomes older people. Providing community activities and events that bring enjoyment to all ages is an important part of what we do as a council. I hope that we can increase the opportunities for older people to engage with community life and to feel included, not just today on International Day of Older Persons, but every day.”
Special guest on the day was Eddie Lynch, Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland. Speaking to participants, Mr Lynch said: I’m delighted to be here today to celebrate our older people and all that they contribute to society. I’m pleased to see International Day of Older Persons going from strength to strength each year, and I hope that everyone takes the opportunity to spend quality time with the older people in their lives to celebrate them and all that they contribute to society. Well done to all the organisations involved in organising today’s fantastic event.”
Gerard Rocks, Assistant Director for Promoting Wellbeing at the Southern Trust added: “We want to make sure we are doing everything we can to help our growing older population to live as independently as possible, for as long as possible.
“We are delighted to team up with the council, other statutory organisations and community and voluntary partners to share the wide range of information there is available to address the issues that can affect older people and to support them to live life to the full”.