Louth Age Friendly Initiative celebrates receiving a Taoiseach's Public Service Excellence Award
Louth is celebrating another Age Friendly accolade with the presentation of a Taoiseach’s Public Service Excellence Award.
Cllr Finan McCoy Cathaoirleach, Louth County Council received one of the twenty Public Service Excellence Awards 2012 from Taoiseach Enda Kenny at a ceremony held in St Patrick's Hall, Dublin Castle on Thursday June 21st. The award was for the Louth Age Friendly County Initiative ‘Sharing the Journey’.
County Louth was the only successful local authority recipient outside the Dublin area and was selected from hundreds of applications.
Louth’s pioneering Age Friendly Programme is supported and promoted through the Louth Older People's Forum which is a representative group covering Active Retirement Groups, Advocacy Groups for Older People, Nursing Homes and Day Care and individuals.
The principle of the Louth Age Friendly County Initiative is that through the participation of older people through a partnership approach, creation and innovation will be enriched.
The Programme puts the older person at the centre of the decision making process on service delivery across multiple agencies and the community and voluntary sector around ageing.
The provision of programmes such as the Men’s Sheds, Failte Isteach, Senior help Line, Friendly Call Service, Good Morning Drogheda, Care and Repair. Intergenerational programmes and the drop in centres called the “Parlour” in the Age Friendly Initiative were programmes that impressed the judging panel. These programmes are delivered by volunteers at the front line in response to the need of older people and at last received the recognition for their great work under the Age Friendly brand.
The Louth Older People's Forum has also designed a website www.louthagefriendlycounty.ie, a one-stop shop of information around services for older people. The website was tested by 70 older people before it went live in 2011. This model is to be replicated by other counties which have adopted the Age Friendly County Initiative.
Louth’s Age Friendly Initiative has been hailed as pioneering. Louth is Ireland’s first Age Friendly County and was Ireland’s only Age Friendly location included in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) study of 2006/2007
Speaking on receiving a Taoiseach’s Public Service Excellence Award, Cllr Finan McCoy said “I am absolutely delighted to accept this Award on behalf of all the people in Co Louth who have contributed to the success of our pioneering Age Friendly initiative.
“The Awards are organised as part of the Government's programme of Public Service reform, aimed at increasing effectiveness and efficiency in the public service, to make better use of resources, improve services delivered to the citizen and business customers and create innovation and creativity, through flexibility, teamworking, cross-organisational co-operation and eGovernment”.
The prestigious award will be taken around the county in the weeks and months ahead to allow everyone who has joined in making such a success of the Age Friendly Initiative share in the glory.
The Louth Age Friendly County Initiative is a cross agency initiative headed up and supported by Louth County Council. The Initiative, its strategies, plans, consultations and deliverables have been facilitated by the staff of Louth County Council, County Development Board Secretariat and the staff of the Netwell Centre Research & Development (R&D) Department, Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT). The only exception to this was a mapping exercise carried out by a graduate from Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) on the Ardee Age Friendly Town action. Louth County Council wishes to acknowledge Age Well Network for its direction and support from the outset.
The aim of the Initiative is to make Louth an “Age Friendly County” with all agencies working together to promote and maintain the best possible health and well-being of older people, and to make the County itself a great place to grow old. The theme of the initiative is “Sharing the Journey”
The three core principles in the Louth Age Friendly County Initiative are participation, partnership and innovation. The Initiative has been driven by two guiding forces, the voice of Older People through the Louth Older People’s Forum and R&D projects which include collaborations between Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT), Louth Local Authorities and HSE North East. The dynamic which underpins the collaboration is “Participation of Older People in a Partnership Approach enriches Innovation”.