Age-friendly Belfast | Beyond 2017
The first Age-friendly Plan 2014-2017 is currently being evaluated and a new three year plan is being developed in consultation with older people and relevant stakeholders to cover the period 2018-2021.
On Monday 26 June 2017 Age-friendly Belfast held a stakeholder and older people’s engagement event in the City Hall to showcase Age-friendly Belfast progress and identify needs to shape the next plan. Councillor Nuala McAllister, the new Lord Mayor of Belfast welcomed everyone to the City Hall.
Councillor Sonia Copeland, Chair All Party Reference Group on Older People and Deputy Lord Mayor highlighted some of the previous work across the city including:
- Living Life to the Full advertising campaign
- Age-Friendly Belfast Volunteer Awards
- Age-friendly Belfast Charter
- Age-friendly calendar – Intergenerational training and projects – Positive Ageing Month
- Be Prepared events – Regular Tea Dances, and
- Christmas Tea Dances hosted in 15 community centre across the city.
Iain Deboys, Chair Healthy Ageing Strategic Partnership gave an overview of where we are now. Many older people are getting active now than in 2014 and the proportion of older people that feel safer in their local area after dark has increased by almost 4% in the 3 years. We also see the increase in older people volunteering from 13% on 2014 to 17% in 2017. 84% of older people agreed that Belfast is a city where people can live life to the full.
There was a small workshop where the top priorities for Age-friendly Belfast beyond 2017 were identified as:
• addressing social isolation;
• infrastructure (walkability, signage, seating and toilets);
• transport and accessibility;
• access to suitable housing; and
• tackling poverty.
So what happens next?
Damien Connolly, Environmental Health Manager, Belfast City Council told the audience information and data collected will be analysed to understand where improvements are required and work with partners to plan future actions.
We will then produce a draft Age-friendly Action Plan and launch it at Age-friendly Belfast convention on 2 October for 12 week public consultation. Having then considered all responses we will make changes to produce a final plan. This will be agreed with key partners and submitted to World Health Organisation.
The new Age-friendly Belfast Action Plan will be implemented in 2018 to 2021.