Cork County Council has extended the deadline for applications to its Age Friendly County programme, which provides support to groups for the development of a network of Age Friendly towns across the county.
The current fund cycle from 2020-2021 will provide financial assistance to communities interested in developing Age Friendly initiatives in their town.
Mitchelstown are one of only four towns in the county that currently hold Age Friendly status, along with Kinsale, Bandon and Cobh.
The towns secured funding through the scheme in the past and continue to reap the benefits, which are particularly evident in these unprecedented times which pose many challenges for older people.
Liz Downes, a member of Cork County Council’s Community Support Forum, Vice Chair of the Older People’s Council and an active member of Mitchelstown’s Age Friendly Town Committee, is encouraging other community groups to consider applying for the fund,
“Achieving the status of an Age Friendly Town has brought a huge sense of community pride to Mitchelstown, as well as an awareness of the everyday challenges experienced by older people.
“The programme has allowed the community to view our town through new eyes; we were spurred into action, with various initiatives, networks and businesses raising awareness of older people’s needs.
“Age Friendly Towns has laid the foundations for the wonderful supports that are now so important to many in our area. We have made valuable connections with Cork County Council, local councillors, HSE, gardai, Ballyhoura Development, Muintir na Tire and most recently, a link with the Council’s Covid-19 Community Support Programme.”
Not to be deterred by Covid-19, Mitchelstown Age Friendly Committee have recently introduced Zoom Digital Meet Up’s to connect older people in the community, while providing advice on various well-being topics. The first of their recent weekly Zoom calls focused on Physical Activity and Mental Wellbeing, while future meetings will explore further topics on maintaining a healthy mind and body, and staying connected.
May 29th Deadline
This current round of Age Friendly funding will offer communities throughout Cork county the opportunity to emulate the success experienced by the four other towns.
Speaking on the initiative, Cork County Council’s Chief Executive Tim Lucey said: “Cork County Council’s Age Friendly Programme has brought communities together, uniting voluntary groups, local businesses, clubs and organisations in their journey to become a better place for older people to live.
“The programme has enjoyed much success over the past number of years, but its importance has truly come to the fore in recent times.
“I urge any community groups with ambitions to introduce an Age Friendly approach to their town, to consider applying to the fund,” he concluded.
The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, May 29th at 4pm.