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Monaghan has proudly been an Age Friendly County for over a decade. Monaghan County Council signed up to become an Age Friendly County in September 2011.

Monaghan Older People’s Council continue to meet on a regular basis, with meetings taking place every 6/8 weeks. The committee has been very active in relation to organising events and walkability audits in the county.

One of most innovative projects which Monaghan Older People’s Council have initiated is an Intergenerational project which is progressing at Beech Hill College which is a secondary school, located in Monaghan Town. The project involves Transition Year Students at Beech Hill recording news stories from the local newspaper, the Northern Standard, and broadcasting a weekly news programme to the residents of the local Nursing Homes in Monaghan. Following an initial pilot broadcast, the first “live broadcast” took place in June 2023. Access for the Nursing Homes to the broadcast is via a password on YouTube. Access to the broadcast has been extended to other Older People’s groups in the county.

The project was initiated by Seamus McDermott, Monaghan Age Friendly Ambassador who is a former career guidance councillor at the school.  The project has received great support from the staff and pupils of Beech Hill, as well as the Northern Standard who came on board at an early stage to allow access to their news articles.

The project has benefitted the students who have honed their skills at broadcasting and presenting. Seamus McDermott has provided guidance on the broadcast technology, and he has provided drone footage of the many villages throughout the county, which provide the background to the broadcast stories.

The Nursing Homes residents have benefitted from enjoying the broadcast and seeing images of local people, their villages and news items. The images bring back positive memories for many of the residents.

An Apple Mac was provided by the County Monaghan Fund which ensured that the Transition Year students have full time access to allow them to edit their broadcasts.

Feedback from the staff and students has been very positive and they see this as long term project for the school and there is a commitment to double the amount of Transition Year students working on the project in September.

In terms of the future, the plan will be to extend access to the broadcasts to other community groups who express an interest. We are also in discussion with a local group who represent blind and partially sighted individuals in Monaghan.

We have worked closely with the Entertainment Officers in the Nursing Homes in Monaghan and it would be our intention that the local students who make the broadcasts would meet with the Nursing Home residents. This is an important aspect of this Intergenerational Project.

Finally, we feel that the longer term benefits of the project are both tangible and numerous. The Nursing Home residents enjoy the broadcasts and will develop a relationship with the students. The students will gain valuable broadcast and editing skills. The project will also have a huge impact on the students’ self-confidence and public speaking ability. The project will be a lifeline to blind and partially sighted people locally.

Contacts

Local Programme Manager
Barry Eaton
Email:
Local Housing Technical Advisor
John Reilly
Email:
Local HAFH Coordinator
Local Older People’s Council
Chair: Seamus McDermott
Local Age Friendly Ambassador
Seamus McDermott