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Published on 09 October 2010 12:00 AM

The Mid & East Antrim Agewell Partnership is inviting age sector groups and organisations to Willowbank Business Park, Larne on Thursday 4 November at 10am to discuss the way forward for older people in the Larne, Ballymena and Carrickfergus areas.

Mid & East Antrim Agewell Partnership has been set up to progress the development of a strong area network, aligned with the proposed new RPA council areas, to enhance and improve the planning and delivery of services for people in later life. Supported by Age NI and facilitated by the charity’s Age Sector Development Team, the Mid and East Antrim Agewell Partnership is one of 11 area networks across Northern Ireland working with trusts, councils, statutory and voluntary organisations across a wide range of public services including health, housing, education, transport, local government and the voluntary sector. 

Elaine Simpson, Age NI Development Manager, said, 'Key findings from a survey carried out by a pilot project called PIP (Personal and Public Involvement Programme) found that 83% of older people in the Ballymena, Larne and Carrickfergus areas would not get involved in discussions because they believed their individual voice would not make a difference. The findings confirm that effective engagement with older people is vital to determining how they wish to be heard and be involved in the planning of services.'

She continued, 'The Mid & East Antrim Agewell Partnership will help mobilise older people in their new council area and provide a platform to ensure the individual voice of the older person is loud, strong and influencing the future planning and delivery of public services. Age NI will continue to offer training, accessible and clear information, support where appropriate, encourage active involvement from older people and provide vital networking opportunities to existing older people’s groups throughout NI to increase their long term sustainability now and into the future.'

To register your interest in attending this event, please contact Una Mulgrew on 028 9089 2634 or email by Wednesday 27 October 2010. A light lunch will be provided. To become involved or to find out more information about the area networks, please contact Elaine Simpson, Development Manager, on 079 1204 6534.

For more information: Call Age NI Advice: 0808 808 7575