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Mayor encourages all to celebrate International Day of Friendship

27 July 2020

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council has invited all citizens to take part in the International Day of Friendship on Thursday, July 30th.

The Mayor is encouraging all to do something kind to reach out the hand of friendship on this day.

Mayor Tierney said: "The International Day of Friendship promotes the role that each and every one of us plays in developing and enhancing friendships, which help uphold peace and harmony within and between cultures and communities around the world. 

"The day can help act as a reminder filled with valuable memories of friendships present and past, but also help recognise the importance and relevance of friendship in our lives.

He continued: "Loneliness has become a much bigger issue today than it ever has been.  Prior to lockdown, research indicated that both younger and older generations here have experienced loneliness and given the restrictions and changes to life as part of lockdown, many people have experienced greater social isolation and feelings of loneliness. 

"This year, the International Day of Friendship demonstrates the importance of connecting and creating old and new friendships by engaging in a kind gesture, particularly involving older persons and young people to help reduce their feelings of loneliness and isolation."

Research from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) found that more than two-thirds of 16 to 24-year-olds feel lonely more often than a number of other age groups.  Some 36.8% of people in that age bracket reported feeling 'more often lonely', which is comparable with 41.3% of people aged 75 or older and 41.1% of those aged 55 to 64.

Locally, Derry City and Strabane District Council are helping lead the way in creating age friendly environments that support healthy, active ageing and a good quality of life for older people for the future.  Through support from the Public Health Agency, and based on the World Health Organisation's framework, Derry City and Strabane District Council are involved with the NI Age Friendly Network and work closely with all eleven councils to create age-friendly environments and work towards a longer-term goal of making this an Age-Friendly region.