Deirdre Fitzgerald and Winnie O’Sullivan, Bantry age Friendly Town Committee, Cllr Danny Collins, and Noelle Desmond and Mary Creedon, Cork County Council launching the Bantry Age Friendly Town Programme in October 2020. Photo: Tony McElhinney

A voice for older people

Plans are in place to make sure Cork continues to be an age friendly county.

Since embarking on its Age Friendly Towns Programme in 2016, Cork County Council has introduced the initiative in eight towns, with the aim of improving the quality of life of older people in Cork county.

Kinsale, Bandon, Mitchelstown and Cobh were the first towns to embark on their journey to Age Friendly status and continue to add initiatives such as promoting age-friendly businesses, developing age-friendly parking, age/wheelchair friendly outdoor seating, as well as running a host of fun inclusive activities for older people.

In 2020, Bantry, Charleville, Millstreet, Passage West and Monkstown also joined the programme. Although a challenging time for communities to begin a new project, the council has been working with the four towns to overcome obstacles, meeting virtually to kick start the initiative in their areas.

Cork County Older People’s Council (OPC) is a forum for people who are 55 years old and older and plays a vital role in the council’s Age Friendly Programme. Members are kept up to date on items of interest with a weekly email and quarterly newsletter. The programme has worked with the OPC to distribute useful information, with members recently receiving care packs containing useful items such as high-vis vests and pocket torches to promote road safety.

Meetings are attended by key agencies and organisations such as An Garda Síochána, HSE, Alone, Local Link Rural Transport, Bus Eireann, UCC, MTU, Cork Chamber, Cork Sports Partnership, Age Friendly Towns Representatives and others.

If you or someone you know would like to become a member of the OPC, email or write to Cork County Age Friendly Programme, Cork County Council, Floor 5, County Hall, Cork. Membership is free.