REPRESENTATIVES from the Derry City and Strabane District Council area travelled to Birmingham to take part in the UK Network of Age Friendly Communities Annual Conference.
Ciara Burke, council’s Age Friendly co-ordinator, was joined by Ursula Gallagher, Manager of Strabane Community Projects, to attend the annual event, which took place on July 5.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the first time that the conference was able to be held in person since 2019, and the theme looked at ‘building an age-friendly movement’ and included an array of keynote speakers, workshops, panel sessions and in-person networking to share ideas and information on how to build age-friendly communities.
Derry City and Strabane District Council are one of 57 areas from across the UK that have committed to becoming age friendly and are linked with the Centre for Ageing Better which provides weekly peer support, networking, training and learning to support and develop age friendly communities and initiatives locally and regionally.
Ciara Burke said: “Attending the conference has provided a wealth of networking and best practice opportunities to be shared both locally and internationally which will build on the current work and partnerships to help build Age Friendly across our community.
“We heard from key note speakers like Ashton Applewhite, who is an internationally recognised expert on Ageism and has spoken widely at venues across the world, including the United Nations.
"It was great to hear an insight from experts at the top of this field and to take those learnings back into what we are doing here in our council area.”
Ursula Gallagher, Strabane Community Project manager, added: “Everyone, everywhere has a responsibility to deliver age friendly spaces. Together we can build local movements where everyone can make changes.
"The conference provided me with a great deal of insight, learning, ideas, networking and opportunities to help build age friendly communities.”
For more on council’s Age Friendly programme, visit: