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Author: Age NI
Published on 16 December 2010 01:30 PM

New initiatives launched to support older people in Northern Trust area

Today saw the joint launch of two new initiatives aimed at increasing support for older people in the Northern Trust area. With 44% of older people in Northern Ireland believing that they are more socially isolated than ever before [1], Age NI’s First Connect service and the Northern Trust’s Age Health and Happiness Programme for Older People will ensure that older people are supported to remain independent, active, healthy and involved in their local community.

Age NI’s First Connect service offers dedicated emotional and practical support at difficult times in an individual’s life; situations which are often triggered by feeling the loss of independence or sudden unexpected changes in important relationships.  The Northern Trust’s ‘Age Health and Happiness programme was developed after consultation with older people’s groups and comprises six key elements:

  • Food for Thought;
  • Keeping Fit and Healthy;
  • Feeling Good Looking Good;
  • Healthy Ageing;
  • Fitter Feet;
  • Healthy Bones and Keeping Safe.

Anne O’Reilly, Age NI Chief Executive said, ‘We are delighted to jointly launch the First Connect service in the Northern Trust area today in partnership with the Age, Health and Happiness Programme. The Northern Ireland population is ageing and we are living in a difficult climate of economic hardship. Now more than ever before, older people need support to improve their quality of life and increase their confidence and independence. First Connect can help our most at-risk citizens make sense of what is happening in their lives, support them to make choices and signpost them to new opportunities and services that will improve their feelings of wellbeing. The service will enable older people in the Northern Trust area to live life the way they want to.’

Northern Trust Chief Executive, Sean Donaghy said, ‘Older people like other groups in our community are entitled to access health and wellbeing information relevant to their needs. The aim of the Age, Health and Happiness Programme for older people is to provide positive, up-to-date and accurate information endorsed by health professionals. This launch is an excellent example of two organisations working together to promote the health and wellbeing of older people in the Northern Trust area.’

- Ends -

Notes to editors

  1. Millward Brown Research for Age Concern Help the Aged NI, 2009
  2. Age NI is the new charity combining Age Concern NI and Help the Aged in Northern Ireland
  3. Visit to learn more about the charity
  4. Visit for more information

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