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Author: Volunteer Now
Published on 24 August 2010 11:30 AM

Enjoy a great day out and make a difference in your local community. As part of Age Awareness Week, Volunteer Now with support from the North West Volunteer Centre and Business in the Community is calling on over 50s throughout Northern Ireland to join them for a great day out and to try their hand at volunteering!

The One Good Reason Action Day, taking place on Wednesday 29th September, offers over 50s the chance to give something back to the many charities and voluntary organisations that provide vital services within their local community. 

Gardening, painting, paired reading with children in local primary schools and conservation work are just some of the volunteering opportunities available across various locations in Northern Ireland, including Belfast, Derry-Londonderry, Newry and Ballymena.  Participants can set themselves up with a free breakfast in these areas at 8.30am before volunteering from 10am -1pm.  Everyone will be made very welcome, whether they come along by themselves, as a group of friends or as a ‘team’ representing a local church, community group, sports club or employer.

The day is free of charge and is part of Volunteer Now’s One Good Reason campaign which encourages over 50s to give volunteering a try and to see first hand how beneficial, enjoyable and satisfying it can be both for them as an individual and for others within their community.  The campaign has been developed with the underlying thinking that we can all find plenty of reasons not to do something – but when we find one good reason to do something we usually do it!

Wendy Osborne, CEO of Volunteer Now said; “We hope that men and women over the age of 50 in Northern Ireland will embrace this opportunity to have a great day out whilst taking up the challenge to make a real difference in their local community.  Volunteering is good for the volunteer and the community we live in and local organisations benefit greatly from the skills and experience provided by over 50s.  As well as being a chance to get out and about and meet new people, it might just be the reason you need to make volunteering a more permanent part of your life.  We hope that the range of opportunities across Northern Ireland will offer something for everyone.”

Anne O’Reilly, Age Awareness Week Spokesperson said; “Too often those from older age groups are portrayed as passive recipients of services in our communities.  This One Good Reason Action Day is a fantastic opportunity for over 50s to challenge this stereotype whilst recognising the invaluable contribution that older volunteers already make to local organisations.  I would encourage those who volunteer throughout the year, as well as those who have never volunteered, to come out for this day to showcase what older volunteers can do as part of Age Awareness Week.”

The One Good Reason Action Day is being supported by Business in the Community who are asking local businesses to encourage their staff aged 50 and over to take part.  Local businesses and organisations are also showing their support by providing venues and breakfast for the Action Day, including:

  • Belfast – Breakfast venue is New Forge Lane Country Club with breakfast supplied by Spar
  • L/Derry – Breakfast venue is X with breakfast supplied by X
  • Ballymena – Breakfast venue is Michelin Athletic Club with breakfast supplied by Michelin.
  • Newry – Breakfast venue is Bagenal’s Castle with breakfast supplied by Newry City Council

Participants will be able to pick a volunteering activity and location that suits them ahead of the day.  Will you take up the challenge?  To register please contact Helen Connolly on 028 9020 0858 or email To find out more information, visit

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For further information, please contact Claire Bickerstaff or Claire Hutchinson, Smarts on 028 9039 5500 or .

Notes to the Editor:

  • The ‘One Good Reason’ campaign has been developed as part of the Unlocking Potential Project delivered by the Volunteer Now in partnership with the North West Volunteer Centre
  • The Unlocking Potential project aims to increase volunteer involvement amongst those aged 60+ and is funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies
  • ‘Proposed info on AAW: AAW highlights the positive contribution older people make to our society, draws attention to the issues that they face and challenges negative attitudes to ageing. ’Recognition’ is the theme of Age Awareness Week 2010. The meaningful recognition of older people’s skills, experiences, knowledge, achievements and contributions has many benefits to older people and to society as a whole.

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