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First Connect Service

First Connect

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.

Times like these can impact on a person’s sense of control, self confidence or self esteem and quality of life. Through First Connect we are there to support older people and help them make sense of what is happening in their lives and to support them to make choices and access new opportunities and services that they consider best enhances and sustains their wellbeing and independence. We believe this approach will support older people to remain independent in their own homes and communities.


Naomi Spratt, First Connect Coordinator for Age NI, says:

'We provide emotional and practical support to older people at a really difficult time in their lives.

'When we receive a referral we visit the person in their own home, and we’ll undertake a holistic assessment to decide how best we can support them.

'We tailor our support for each individual’s needs. The person might be isolated, or might need help with washing and dressing. We make sure they have the full benefit and pension they’re entitled to We’ll also look at any support they might need with transport, safety and security.

'Often this is the first time the older person has ever needed to ask for support. It’s a very humbling thing for them to let a First Connect coordinator go into their home.

'We try to keep people out of the care system, at home, for as long as we can. We get around 50 new referrals every month.

'This job is so rewarding. The feedback we receive is lovely: from clients, families and even other professionals. I absolutely love my job, and all the coordinators are passionate about it too.'

To make a referral to the First Connect Service contact us on Freephone 0808 808 7575.

Contact Us

Northern Trust
Sam Cunningham 
sam.cunningham@ageni.org | 07971389488

South Eastern and Belfast Trust
George Smith 
george.smith@ageni.org | 07436581437

Southern Trust
Emma McLoughlin 
emma.mcloughlin@ageni.org | 07816 230753

Mary McConville
mary.mcconville@ageni.org | 07989850390

Volunteer with First Connect


Last updated: Sep 02 2020

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