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Age Friendly Network NI celebrates five years of partnership

3 July 2024

Members of the Age Friendly Network NI are this week celebrating five years of partnership. 

Launched in 2019, the network has a membership of Age Friendly Officers from all 11 Council areas and representatives from the Age Sector Networks, Department for Communities, Public Health Agency and Age NI. The PHA funds local councils to implement the WHO Age Friendly Communities model. The model proposes eight interconnected domains that can help to identify and address barriers to the well-being and participation of older people. 

The mission of the network is to enhance age-friendly connections across Northern Ireland by advocating for inclusive policies, promoting awareness, ensuring equal access to services, and empowering communities through engagement and support. They aim to create a partnership and environment that respect and value older individuals, ensuring their well-being and social inclusion.

Marking the anniversary, Age Friendly Co-Ordinator with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Pauline O’Neill said: “The Age Friendly Network NI really demonstrates the benefits of partnership working and how the sharing of expertise and information can help bring about real and lasting change. I am delighted to mark this milestone in the partnership’s journey and I look forward to continuing this positive work to improve society for the older community over the coming years.”

Speaking about the network, Co-Chair Jenny Marshall commented: “It has been wonderful to witness the development of the network over the past five years. The great partnership model between statutory and community helps shape our work to ensure that grass roots community development is key to influencing our strategic objectives, in a bid to help Northern Ireland develop an age friendly agenda.”

Priorities for the network are based on the eight pillars of Age-Friendly and include resourcing of the Age Sector Networks, communication & information, transport and age-friendly design principles.

A Network Steering Group has been established to develop a two-year action plan. The Age Friendly Network NI aims to ensure that stakeholders including Councils at local government level, Age Sector Networks and Age NI from the third sector, alongside central government, work together to drive an Age Friendly agenda and make Northern Ireland an ‘age friendly’ region in which people, as they grow older, are supported to live well; live a life that is dignified and fulfilled; have their rights and independence promoted, their participation valued and their voices listened to.

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