Celebration of Work to make Communities more Age Friendly
On Wednesday 11th April over two hundred people from the length and breadth of the Country ascended on Monaghan town to celebrate the National Age Friendly Recognition and Achievement Awards 2018. The ceremony held in the Hillgrove Hotel saw projects from across the country recognised for their innovative and creative approaches to making Ireland a great place in which to grow old.
The event was presented by the Age Friendly Ireland Programme (Meath County Council) and was hosted and sponsored by Monaghan County Council. Master of Ceremonies for the evening was the award-winning comedy impressionist Oliver Callan who had the audience in the palm of his hands for the duration.
The Age Friendly Cities and Counties Programme has been running for over ten years and has been implemented by all 31 Local Authorities, 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.
Over the last ten years, the Programme has yielded a wealth of creative responses that have a real impact on the lives of older people and the purpose of this event is to recognise and celebrate implementation and achievement in age friendly project work around Ireland.
Speaking before the event, Chief Executive of Meath County Council and host of the Age Friendly Programme, Jackie Maguire said, “Meath County Council, as interim hosts of the national Age Friendly Ireland programme, wish all the participating age friendly projects a huge congratulations. This Awards Ceremony is a wonderful opportunity to recognise all that is good across all sectors in Ireland in responding to the diverse needs of older people. On behalf of the wider local government sector I wish to thank all our age friendly programme practitioners, our sponsors, our judges, our older people’s councils and wider communities for joining in this wonderful annual celebration. In particular I extend sincere thanks to Eamonn O’Sullivan and his team in Monaghan County Council for hosting this magnificent ceremony”.
Chief Executive of Monaghan County Council, Eamonn O’Sullivan said, “We are delighted Monaghan has been selected to host the 2018 Age Friendly Achievement Awards Ceremony. This a great reflection on the wonderful work that is being done at a local level in Monaghan for older people in our communities. We have had a wonderful response from our local Age Friendly Businesses who are making sure our visitors receive a warm Monaghan welcome.
Monaghan’s Cathaoirleach, Councillor Cathy Bennett extended a warm welcome to everyone on the evening, she said “It is so inspiring to be here this evening and to hear about all the wonderful work going on around the country to make our communities more age friendly. The benefits of an age friendly approach will be felt by all members of the community, not just older people. Working towards the goal of age friendliness makes for more cohesive communities.”
Speaking at the event National Age Friendly Programme Lead, Catherine McGuigan said “The national Age Friendly Ireland Programme provides a platform for the implementation of innovative practices that demonstrate meaningful outcomes for our ageing population in Ireland. The national recognition awards give us the opportunity to celebrate that work and acknowledge the value contribution age friendly practices make to older people the length and breadth of Ireland. We are thrilled that so many of our colleagues from the network of 31 Age Friendly Programmes are joined in recognising these achievements”
This year, eight categories of awards, aligning to the World Health Organisation (WHO) themes, have been chosen as they have a meaningful impact on the lives of older people in Ireland.
- Age Friendly Transport Award sponsored by Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport
- Age Friendly Active & Healthy Ageing Award sponsored by Health & Wellbeing Division, HSE
- Age Friendly Business Innovation Award sponsored by Chambers Ireland
- Age Friendly Safety & Security Award sponsored by An Garda Siochana
- Age Friendly Communication Award sponsored by An Post
- Age Friendly Environment Award sponsored by Centre for Excellence in Universal Design at the NDA
- Age Friendly Community Innovation Award sponsored by Department of Rural & Community Development
- Age Friendly Housing Award sponsored by Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government
PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT