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Wexford & Wicklow Networks meet

03 Sep 12


Co Wexford Age Equality Network & Wicklow Older People’s Network
Joint Meeting
Arklow Bay Hotel
Tuesday, August 28th 2012
30 Participants

Morning Session – Round Table Discussions

• If Wexford and Wicklow were to lobby together this would have a greater impact at both local and national level. We possibly need to work on our ability to do this
• Working together we could break down barriers and transfer experience
• The identification and the defining of common issues would be beneficial and we could ensure that there is a consistency of policy implementation at both local and national level
• Inter-network /inter-organisational visits are hugely beneficial
• Programmes such as Ageing With Confidence are a support to groups in getting them engaged in the act of lobbying
• Older people need to have supports to have their voice heard, especially those in nursing/care homes and those with additional needs
• Those who are actually suffering or are affected by the issues need to be supported and empowered to be part of the lobby themselves. Views from the bottom up need to be articulated
• Some politicians are sincere however others do not listen
• Unity is strength
• Older people’s lobbies need to be visible, both in the media and possibly by inviting local TD’s to a meeting or to make a presentation to the Networks
• Regarding co-operation between Wexford and Wicklow, a joint committee could be useful to keep the connections made today
• Social aspect of these types of meetings is important
• Web texting is useful as a means of spreading information to those on the ground
• We should share our methods of lobbying, e.g. organisational; speed lobbying; petition signing, etc
• It was stressed that the lobbies should be active now and consistently, rather than just at budget times or after the cuts have been made
• The importance of being prepared was stressed – with position papers, case studies, the facts

Afternoon Session – Round Table Discussions
Age Friendly Counties (AFC)

• While problems and issues are unique to local areas, each county can learn from each other, share the learning and in particular from the Louth model
• Louth programme should be national, however, one shoe won’t fit all
• Monitoring of the overall mission/vision of a programme is important to see if the big picture is being achieved. Go where we set out to go – the Big Picture
• Involvement of the Local Authorities is important, while the programme needs to be driven by older people themselves
• Representation of older people and their issues at County Council level would be very valuable
• Most people are impressed with the concept of an Age Friendly County, however questions must be asked about where do the resources come from, especially about monitoring the implementation
• The involvement of older people at all levels is crucial and was stressed by a number of the discussion groups. Outreach to as many as possible also essential
• Unity and co-operation at Network level is really important, particularly between both counties
• Suggestion that Networks be resourced from central government funds
• AFC programme covers major needs of older people and is particularly beneficial in terms of communication and of encouraging voluntary input
• It was agreed that it is up to Wexford and Wicklow as individual counties, make their own decisions on the programme, but would help if they met up regarding progress and to share learning
• The Partnership Companies/Local Development Companies would have an important role to play in the monitoring and evaluation of the programme if it were introduced
• Suggestion that the heads of Co Wicklow Partnership & Wexford Local Development meet regarding the AFC programme
• Concerns about the AFC programme taking over the existing networks that exist
• Age Friendly is not just good for older people but for children, people with disabilities, parents/families etc.

Other Points Raised during Discussion Groups
Community Games for Older People – this idea received a clap
Access for older people is a recurring issue
Idea that Garda Reserves could be more utilised in assisting older people
Inequality of services across districts and counties – for instance pot-holed roads, bad street lighting, patchy rural transport services
One of the burning issues is that of the property tax and what people are paying for in stealth charges
All networks need to support volunteerism to sustain themselves, however this does not happen with hard work
People don’t like being put in a box therefore a mix of different ages together is good


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Co Wexford Age Equality Network
c/o Wexford Local Development
Mill Park Road
Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford