More than 60 delegates attend virtual Age Friendly Conference

Cllr Armstrong

More than 60 older people from across the Fermanagh and Omagh district attended an the annual ‘Age Friendly’ conference on Wednesday 24 March 2021 which was held virtually for the first time due to restrictions currently in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The conference, organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, in conjunction with South West Age Partnership, with funding from the Public Health Agency (PHA provided those in attendance with the opportunity to hear from a number of speakers on issues relating five steps to wellbeing – keeping well at home.

Welcoming delegates to the event, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Diana Armstrong, said;

“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. A core objective of the Fermanagh and Omagh Community Plan 2030, which has been developed by the Council in partnership with other key statutory stakeholders, is to help older people to live more independent, engaged and socially connected lives.

The events of the past year have demonstrated the need to be more socially connected than ever particularly for older people. I am delighted that the today’s conference could be facilitated virtually as it is important for older people to have a platform to voice their concerns to have their needs addressed.”

Rosemary McMullen Vice Chair South West Area Partnership said;

“this is a fantastic opportunity for us to have our say and help shape future services for older people in Fermanagh and Omagh.  The enthusiasm and engagement today is encouraging, it’s wonderful to see people embracing the new technology and attending this virtual event.”

The keynote speaker at the event was Gerry Farrell, Psychotherapist, Lyceum Counselling and Training. Other speakers on the day were Adele Dunne, Senior Health Improvements Officer, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement West, Public Health Agency, and projects recently delivered by South West Partnership including Mindfulness Stitching with Morag Donald and Lessons from Lockdown with Briege McClean.

The morning session closed with a singalong by renowned local opera singer Andrew Irwin accompanied by Jim McGrath.

Delegates returned for an interactive afternoon session around shaping Age Friendly after the pandemic. A poll carried out as part of the conference revealed that over 85% of the delegates felt good or very good about getting older, which given the challenges of the last year was very positive.  In another Conference first, all delegates received a conference pack and afternoon tea box delivered by Easilink and Fermanagh Community Transport.