30/04/2012

New £100k Grant Scheme Announced

A new £100,000 grant scheme, to promote working between generations and encourage active ageing, was launched today by Junior Ministers Martina Anderson and Jonathan Bell.

The Ministers promoted the new scheme at a series of events in Belfast.

Speaking at an Intergenerational Event in Belfast City Hall, which was organised by Linking Generations in partnership with Age Sector Platform and the Youth Forum, Junior Minister Anderson said: "Intergenerational working is essential to break down barriers that sometimes arise between generations. That is why today, and indeed this year, the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, is so important.

"I commend Linking Generations for the work they do on a daily basis. Intergenerational work can help combat loneliness and isolation and improve the health and well-being of both young and old."

Announcing the new scheme Junior Minister Bell said: "We are pleased to announce a new small grant scheme to assist people with intergenerational and active ageing projects. This grant confirms the Executive’s commitment to the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.

"We have secured £100,000 for this scheme to help deliver social change through promoting age equality and reducing social exclusion. It is aimed specifically at community groups and voluntary organisations. Details about the scheme will soon be available on the OFMDFM website."

At the invitation of AGE NI the Junior Ministers then attended the Celebrating Age event held at the Titanic Building. Opening the event Junior Minister Anderson said: “The £100,000 scheme launched today will help promote and celebrate active ageing and solidarity between generations. Intergenerational work is vital to help break down the negative stereotypes often portrayed in the media.

"In some instances there can be a degree of alienation between younger and older people. This needs to be addressed. Intergenerational work can help us in encouraging the sharing of skills and experiences across the generations to make a better future for us all."

Junior Minister Bell added: "The European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012 encourages all policy makers and stakeholders to set goals and take action to meet them. We need to make a tangible, positive difference. In June this year we will launch a consultation on the Strategy for Older people. We want to hear your views and I encourage everyone to make their voice heard. We are listening and want to ensure that the strategy reflects the needs, not only of older people, but for all of us in society. By working together we can make a real and positive difference for all our generations."

(LB)

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