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Cllr Naomi Bailie, Chairperson, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has commended all those who work together to improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life of the areas older citizens.

Cllr Bailie was speaking at the ‘Celebrating Age Friendliness’ Conference.  Over 200 delegates were in attendance to share the experience of the achievements that the Age Friendly Strategy has achieved on its journey since it was launched in 2014.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Cllr Naomi Bailie with Mickey Brady MP before officially opening the Age Friendly Conference. Photograph: NewRayPics
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Cllr Naomi Bailie with Mickey Brady MP before officially opening the Age Friendly Conference. Photograph: NewRayPics

Commenting the Chairperson said, “This event highlights the approach taken by the Council in partnership with a range of agencies and voluntary and statutory organisations to making our district Age Friendly and how this is progressing.  Through working together on this initiative all the partners have demonstrated their commitment to making our district a really great place in which to grow older, that is supportive, valuing and enabling for older people.  At a time when the demographics of our population are changing and people are living longer it is important that we acknowledge the wealth of experience and benefits that our older citizens bring to our communities and society as we strive to work together through imaginative and cost effective partnerships to improve the health, wellbeing and quality of life for them. I commend all the members of the Age Friendly Strategic Alliance who are working together to achieve this worthy aim.”

Conference speakers L-R, Dr Alan Hattan-Yeo MBE; Philomena Morrow (Older Peoples Forum) Regina Mackin (Newry, Mourne and Down District Council); Inspector Jacqui Gillespie (PSNI); Pamela Ballantine; Dr Ann O'Hanlon (NI Centre for Health and Well-being); Linda Robinson (Age NI); Kathy Gallagher (Newry & Mourne Senior Citizens Consortium ); Marian Cully (Southern Health and Social Care Trust); Gerry Bleakney (Public Health Agency) and Brian Groves (Newry and Mourne Community Transport).
Conference speakers L-R, Dr Alan Hattan-Yeo MBE; Philomena Morrow (Older Peoples Forum) Regina Mackin (Newry, Mourne and Down District Council); Inspector Jacqui Gillespie (PSNI); Pamela Ballantine; Dr Ann O'Hanlon (NI Centre for Health and Well-being); Linda Robinson (Age NI); Kathy Gallagher (Newry & Mourne Senior Citizens Consortium ); Marian Cully (Southern Health and Social Care Trust); Gerry Bleakney (Public Health Agency) and Brian Groves (Newry and Mourne Community Transport). Photograph: NewRayPics

Dr Alan Hatton-Yeo, MBE, who was the guest speaker at the Conference said, “I am delighted to speak at today’s conference, particularly as Ireland has played such a key role in the development of international understanding of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities, not least through the international adoption of the Dublin Declaration.  In Wales our collaboration with Irish colleagues has been an important in informing the development of our national Age-Friendly Community Programme.”

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Cllr Naomi Bailie welcomes Chair Pamela Ballantine to the Canal Court Hotel, Newry  while more than 200 delegates take their seats for the Conference.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Cllr Naomi Bailie welcomes Chair Pamela Ballantine to the Canal Court Hotel, Newry while more than 200 delegates take their seats for the Conference. Photograph: NewRayPics

The event, which was chaired by Ms Pamela Ballantine, provided an opportunity to demonstrate how the district has been delivering on the Age Friendly Agenda over the past year and how the Strategic Alliance Partnership has been working together in order to enhance the quality of life for older citizens in the area.  Delegates also heard about the experiences of age friendly programmes in other areas and an interactive Q&A session gave them the chance to directly engage with the various speakers on the many issues raised.  All present found the Conference to be very informative and welcomed the on-going implementation of the Age Friendly Strategy.

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