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Dublin mayor’s strategy aims to tap into Vast experience’ of older people

Resource type: News

Irish Times |

by KITTY HOLLAND A STRATEGY to get older people more involved in volunteering and to tap into their “vast experience” is being drawn up and will be published in coming months, the Lord Mayor of Dublin said yesterday. Cllr Eibhlin Byrne, who was speaking at the recommencement of a meal service for older people on the northside of the city, said •the theme of her mayoralty was civic leadership. An important component of this was bringing older people together more and engaging them more in city life. “As part of an overall strategy to combat loneliness, I’m bringing in things like tea dances in the Mansion House, like they used to have in the Gresham hotel. We’ll be having a grandparents’ day and in December there’ll be a ‘shopping in the city day’ for older people, and the Mansion House will be open for tea and coffee. “We’re also looking at encouraging volunteering among older people. There is a huge bank of experience and knowledge there and we are looking at ways to link into that and to maximise the potential of older people.” She referred to the issues at an event in two Dublin City Cotmcil-run sheltered housing projects in Artane, where a communal meal service was restarted yesterday. Though meals were still being provided by voluntary organisations to residents at home, the service in the on-site community centre had been stopped “for resource reasons” last September. “The idea now is that people will be able, if they want, to sit down together in a group, to socialise and chat. Even if they don’t feel like chatting they can listen in, hear what’s going on,” said Paul Sweeney, liaison officer between a number of sheltered housing complexes in the area and the council. “Loneliness, of course, is an issue for everyone, young and old, but socialising is the best way for people to keep going.” Among the older people at yesterday’s event was Flo Partridge, from England originally and who has been living in Ireland for 62 years. She had been in Rosevale Court for more than 10 years. “I’m a little bit private and like having my dinner in my bedsit, but I’m going to try it,” she said.

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