The Belfast Strategic Partnership's (BSP) Age-friendly Belfast team has launched a campaign called 'Living Life To The Full'.
The campaign aims to demonstrate how older people contribute to society through:
- Working - older people are passing on their skills and contributing to the workplace
- Volunteering - by giving their time and skills, older people are helping others in society and in their local communities
- Caring - older people play a key role in helping their loved ones, relatives and friends to live dignified and independent lives
- Providing Childcare - many older people are providing regular help with childcare
The campaign is a result of research carried out by Age-friendly Belfast in 2013, which found that respect for and inclusion of older people was consistently prioritised as the area that needed most improvement in order for Belfast to become an age-friendly city.
It also found that:
- 31% of older people thought that the recognition of older people’s contribution to the community was poor or very poor
- only 16% of older people thought that the public image of older people in Belfast was good or excellent.
As part of the campaign, advertising can be seen across Belfast on buses, bus stops, billboards, online and on radio to demonstrate how older people contribute to our city.
Elma Greer, Age-friendly Belfast team said: "One of the great success stories is how we are living longer, and over the 10 year period between 2003 and 2013 the number of adults in NI aged 54 and over increased by 22%.
However some of the conversation around these statistics creates a sense of burden and unaffordable costs.
"This campaign aims to provide a balance to this conversation by raising awareness of the many and varied ways in which older people in Belfast contribute to our city. It shows older people in Belfast who are working, volunteering, providing care and taking part in community and family life."
Butcher Sam Glen, took part in the campaign and said: "It’s a pleasure for me to pass on 45 years of experience and hopefully someone will take over from me someday."
Also at the campaign launch, Iain De Boys, Chair of the Belfast Local Commissioning Group, encouraged Belfast organisations to sign-up to the Age-friendly Charter - to help make it easier for older people to use services across Belfast. "We feel the charter will support our Living Life to the Full Campaign and I would encourage all organisations to sign up now and help to make Belfast a city were older people live life to the full."
Further information on the campaign and the Charter is available on: www.makinglifebettertogether.com/age-friendly