‘It’s Never Too Late’ Project nominated for major National Lottery Award

Women’s Aid ABCLN and Spark Opera’s ‘It’s Never Too Late’ project exploring the voices and lived experience of older women affected by domestic abuse has been nominated for a major National Lottery Award.

Four initiatives from Northern Ireland are among 17 short-listed finalists who will compete in a four-week public vote to be named the National Lottery Project of the Year.

Spark Opera Artistic Director, Kate Guelke said “It is a great honour to be nominated for a National Lottery Award and it would mean so much to all involved for ‘It’s Never Too Late’ to be named National Lottery Project of the Year 2022.”

“We are proud to have partnered with Women’s Aid ABCLN on this important and impactful project that enables older women to take ownership of their experiences and create a new narrative.”

The project culminated in a ‘live’ exhibition marking World Elder Abuse Awareness Day which launched on 30th June and was hosted throughout July and August by The Junction Retail and Leisure Park, Antrim

“I believe it is incredibly important that everyone has access to the arts. We wanted to pilot a model where the participants drove the project forward and artists acted as facilitators, assisting to realise the work. This is a portfolio which features photography, dance, sculpture, text word and graphic design. I’m so proud of what’s been achieved as the work is incredible.”

Women’s Aid ABCLN (Antrim, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey), Reconnect Worker Bronagh O’Boyle said: “Working with Spark Opera has enabled older women affected by domestic abuse to use the arts to tell their stories in a safe, supportive and inspiring environment. From dance to creative writing, women have used an arts-based approach towards healing and connection with one another.”

“Our Older But No Safer project works with older women and communities to increase awareness about domestic abuse and provide greater protection for women aged 55 and over. Older women tell us that they may be older, but they are no safer. Through this project we want them to know it’s never too late to get help.”

The project culminated in a ‘live’ exhibition marking World Elder Abuse Awareness Day which launched on 30th June and was hosted throughout July and August by The Junction Retail and Leisure Park, Antrim. This was attended by invited guests including Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council Deputy Mayor Cllr Leah Smyth who said “It has been amazing to see all the different pieces of art and hear the women’s stories behind them. I was truly lost for words.”

To vote for Women’s Aid ABCLN and Spark Opera ‘It’s Never Too Late’ project go to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards

‘It’s Never Too Late’ was supported thanks to National Lottery funding through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Arts and Older People Programme, a scheme which uses the arts to empower older people and address issues affecting them such as isolation and loneliness, as well as promoting positive mental health and wellbeing.

The awards celebrate inspirational people and projects who are helped by National Lottery funding. Winners will receive a £5,000 cash prize and an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy.  

To vote for Women’s Aid ABCLN and Spark Opera ‘It’s Never Too Late’ project go to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards

For more information and support you can call Women’s Aid ABCLN on 028 25 632136.

Women’s Aid ABCLN and Spark Opera ‘It’s Never Too Late’ Project Nominated for Major National Lottery Award