PLACE EE project helping older people lead more connected lives

25th March 2019

More than 100 older people from the Fermanagh and Omagh District attended a half day conference at the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen on Friday 22 March 2019 to hear from speakers on issues relating to an ageing population and how technology and intergenerational work can help to improve quality of life for older people.

The conference was organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council as part the PLACE EE Project (Platform for Ageing Community Engagement – Exchange & Enterprise), in partnership with the lead programme partner, Ulster University; Limerick City & County Council; Public Health Agency; Umea University, Sweden; Skelleftea Kommun, Sweden; and Fjaroabyggo, Iceland.

PLACE EE is a transnational inter-generational project, funded by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme, which works with older people in sparsely populated rural areas to improve wellbeing.

Since 2018 PLACE EE has been rolled out in the Erne West and Tyrone West District Electoral Areas of the Fermanagh and Omagh District to help older people to access services and to help to improve their health and wellbeing through various information technology and intergenerational activities.

These have included intergenerational genealogy workshops, with pupils from St John’s College, Dromore; St Mary’s High School, Brollagh and St Aidan’s High School, Derrylin helping older people to research family history online using tablets, smartphones and laptops.

Welcoming delegates, speakers, project partners and participating schools to the event, Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Howard Thornton said:

“Within the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area, the population demographics are changing and it is projected that by 2030, 23% of our population will be aged 65 years or over. Therefore, it is important that the pertinent issues specific to the needs of older people are addressed.

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is committed to establishing a District in which our older people can live active and engaged lives, making a valuable contribution to their communities.

I would like to thank all the PLACE EE partners and our school partners for their support and commitment to collaborating with the Council to deliver initiatives which make a positive contribution to improve the quality of life for the older people of our District.”

Speakers on the day included Declan McGarrigle, Special European Union Programmes Body (SEUPB); Allison Forbes, South West Age Partnership (SWAP); Soo Hun, Public Health Agency; Joanne Wilson, Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB); Jo Anne Finlay, Omagh Volunteer Centre; Helga Guðlaugsdóttir & Guðrún Magnúsdóttir PLACE-EE Partners from Iceland and Frank McHugh, Connect with your Past, Genealogy Facilitator.

The Place EE programme continues to be delivered in the Erne West and Tyrone West District Electoral Areas until 2020. For further information on PLACE EE please contact Louise McLaughlin, Community Services, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council on 0300 303 1777, text phone 028 8225 6216 or email communitysupport@fermanaghomagh.com.