Wicklow’s Older people’s council reconnect at first gathering since covid

Older Peoples Council AGM 5

Over 120 older people from across County Wicklow attended the annual general meeting of the Older People’s Council.  This was first such event to be held since pandemic restrictions forced the postponement of the 2020 AGM.

Outgoing Chair of County Wicklow Older People’s Council, Mai Quaid, welcomed the new Chair of the Wicklow Age Friendly County Alliance, Emer O’Gorman, Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, to the event at the Glenview Hotel last Friday.  Both welcomed the attendance from a wide range of community groups and networks across the county.

Mai Quaid said that it had been a challenging few years for older people stating: “There have been a lot of changes since the last AGM in 2019. But it has been a busy and productive few years for the Older People’s Council Executive with new faces and structures at the Age Friendly Ireland Programme and on the Wicklow Age Friendly County Alliance. The OPC Executive team in County Wicklow have been working closely with the members of the Alliance to develop this new five-year strategy to make County Wicklow a great place to grow old.”

Staff from the multi-agency Wicklow Age Friendly County Alliance attended the event to provide information on service and supports for older people, including: Heath Service Executive, An Garda Siochana, Citizens Information Services, County Wicklow Libraries Services, Local Sports Partnership, County Wicklow Partnership, Bray Area Partnership and the Public Participation Network.

Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council and Chair of the Wicklow Age Friendly County Alliance, Emer O’Gorman, said: “Wicklow County Council has made significant progress in embedding an age friendly approach to all of its work and is committed to the Age Friendly Programme in the county. As Chair of the Wicklow Age Friendly County Alliance, I can confirm that the other Agencies represented on the Alliance are also committed to implementing the new Wicklow Age Friendly County Strategy, for 2023-2027, and it is great to see so many of them here today to connect with the older people they serve. ”   




Senator Pat Casey, Age Friendly Ambassador for County Wicklow, stated: “Older People’s Councils play a vital role in representing the authentic voice of older individuals throughout the country. They provide valuable advice to agencies and service providers, on the services and facilities that older people need in their communities. In County Wicklow, the Older People’s Council is the channel for that voice, and an active participant on the Wicklow Age Friendly County Alliance.”

Cathaoirleach of Wicklow County Council, Cllr Tommy Annesley, emphasised: “It important that we honour diversity in our older population, listen to the voices that represent diverse groups and different locations – both urban and rural”.

The World Health Organisation ‘Age Friendly Cities and Counties Programme’ has been running for nearly 15 years and has been implemented by all 31 Local Authorities in Ireland. The programme is built on the recognition of the valuable role that older people can and should play in shaping their communities for the better and it aims to make Ireland a truly great place in which to grow old.

Alice Corbett, Regional Manager Southeast, for Age Friendly Ireland, provided an update on the new operating guidelines, developed by the National Network of Older People’s Councils. She commended County Wicklow’s innovative and creative approach to making Wicklow a great place in which to grow old and called on older people, over 55, to volunteer for active engagement with the OPC Executive, to support the implementation of the actions in the new Strategy. 

County Wicklow residents, aged over 55, who would like to find out more about to volunteering for active engagement with the Older People’s Council Executive group should contact the County Wicklow Age Friendly Programme Manager, County Wicklow, by email at : agefriendly@wicklowcoco.ie

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