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Minister Griffin announces Sports Grants of €300,000 to get more older people more active more often

  • €5.5million awarded by the National Grant Scheme during its lifetime

  • Almost €300,000 awarded to clubs and groups nationwide this year

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Press Release

Campaigners welcome increased funding for homecare in Budget 2018

A group of Ireland’s leading not for profit organisations and campaigners today welcomed the announcement that an extra €37 million will be invested in homecare and transitional care beds in 2018.

A spokesperson for the group said, “This increased investment in homecare will go some way to meeting the needs of thousands of people across Ireland who are currently on long waiting lists for homecare that will support them to live and die well in the community, stay out of hospital and long-term residential care, and remain in their own homes with their families if that is their wish. As of July 2017, there were approximately 4,600 people on waiting lists for homecare and this funding will help to address this significant back log”.

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During European Week of Sport 2017 our Go for Life programme will be organising a number of "Always wanted to try......." activities, where individuals and groups are invited to take part in a range activities from ziplining to open sea swimming.

Sport Ireland is the national co-ordinator for the European Week of Sport in Ireland, which aims to promote sport and physical activity across Europe and over three hundred sport and physical activity events will take place across Ireland from 23rd - 30th September 2017. 

We would encourage everyone to use the opportunity of the week to get involved in sport and to get active. A full listing of events scheduled for the European week of Sport is available on the Sport Ireland website HERE and everyone is encouraged and invited to get involved and participate in their local events.

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***The deadline for receipt of applications for this year's grant scheme has now passed. 

Grants are available to all eligible local clubs, groups and organisations that promote increased participation in recreational sport or physical activity for older people as a main element of their activities.A total of €300,000 will be available in grants in 2017, and grants awarded will be between €250 and €700.

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The sixth annual Go for Life Games will be held in the DCU on Saturday 10th June, from 10am to 4pm.  24 Teams from will participate in various games especially adapted for older people. 

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As part of the 2017 festival Age & Opportunity's Bealtaine has created an opportunity for a care setting and its residents to engage creatively with a visual artist over the course of a number of months.

About the Care Setting Residency

This care settings residency is a new Bealtaine initiative in partnership with Waterford Healing Arts Trust and Age & Opportunity's Creative Exchanges QQI accredited training programme.

A care setting has been selected for the initiative and Age & Opportunity / Bealtaine are now calling on artists to apply for this residency.

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Bealtaine Festival 2017 - All Together Now: Celebrating the power of the collective!

We are now inviting you to register to take part in this year’s Bealtaine Festival.  As you are aware, Bealtaine is Ireland’s national celebration of creativity as we age.

For the past 21 years the Festival has grown into Ireland’s largest co-operative arts festival with over 3,500 events taking place each year in towns and villages throughout the country. As the world’s first national celebration of creativity in older age, the Festival has also inspired a number of international festivals working to promote deep engagement with the arts by people of 50 and over.

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*We are no longer accepting applications for this internship as the deadline has passed

Internship 

Age & Opportunity's Bealtaine Festival is looking for an intern to be part of the Festival Team 2017. The intern will play an important role in supporting the 2017 Festival.

What's in it for you?

We are keen to support the professional development of our interns; an internship with the Bealtaine Festival will provide unique opportunities to be involved in a successful collaborative festival. Specifically you will have an opportunity to:

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Age & Opportunity's sport and physical activity programme had a very busy 2016, with a record number of PALS workshops being rolled out throughout the country. 66 workshops with an average of 20 participants per workshop means we are building our PALs network every year.

Already scheduled for 2017 are a series of new workshops in Cork in February, Carlow in March, and Kerry in September. If you know someone who would like to train as a PAL be sure to give them our contact details and we can provide them with all the information on how to register for these programmes. Workshops which began in Autumn 2016 will continue in counties Offaly in mid-January and Fingal and Longford in February.

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The Active Citizenship and Lifelong Learning programme has been delivering training and support to groups all around the country in 2016. It was a busy year and we hope that 2017 will be just as busy and interesting as last year.

We have a range of programmes on offer if you are interested in developing new skills, becoming more active in your community and/or taking time out for personal development. One of our core beliefs is that we are never too old to learn something new or to reflect on who we are and what life has been like so far.

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In 2016 we celebrated the 21st year of the Bealtaine festival, and we would like to thank all our organisers, audience members and supporters and partners for making the event a great success.   The Arts & Culture programme has already put plans in place for the 2017 festival and you can read more on that below.  

We also work to increase opportunities for older people to engage with Ireland’s vibrant cultural and arts scene through our Cultural Companions programme.  Our companions have been out and about at a range of festive events over the past weeks, and we will be scheduling lots of exciting events in 2017.  Keep an eye on our website for more details and to find out how you can get involved.

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Minister O'Donovan Announces Sports Grants Which Will Enable Over 30,000 Older People to Engage In Physical Activity

 

  • Number of grant applications has increased by 125% since launch of scheme in 2001
  • Almost €300,000 awarded to clubs and groups nationwide this year
  • The Grant Scheme has awarded over €5million during its lifetime

 

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A group of Ireland’s leading not for profit organisations and campaigners came together today to call for increased investment in home care in Budget 2017. 
 
The majority of people coping with the effects of ill health and disability, which includes a large number of older people and people with chronic and long-term progressive illnesses, want to remain living in their own homes, and to die at home if that is their wish. As a society we are failing to provide these people with the support they need.
 
Home care is often seen and used as a solution to the hospital crises, but it should be seen as an integral part of long-term care in its own right.
 
The difference that appropriate home care can make to a family cannot be underestimated -- it can support people to live well in the community, to stay out of hospital and long-term residential care, and to remain in their own homes with their families throughout their lives. 
 
Home care is also vital in supporting Ireland’s 200,000 family carers, who provide the vast majority of care for people at home. The system relies heavily on these carers who provide nearly €4bn worth of care every year and who need our support.
 
Research recently published by the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice in UCD, Age Action, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland and the Irish Association of Social Workers found that more than half of older people could remain in their own homes instead of going into long-term care if more home support services were available.
 
The report also showed that a multiple of resources are being invested in long-term care rather than in community-based care, despite the fact that Government policy is to support people to remain at home.
 
Our ageing population requires a significant annual increase in home care support. The cuts to home care provision over the years have not been restored to the levels required to keep pace with the significant ageing demographics. Provision needs to increase by 4% per year to merely keep pace with these pressures. Research from Care Alliance Ireland suggests an ongoing deficit of 1.6m home care hours in 2016.
 
This group is calling on the Government to urgently increase investment in home care in Budget 2017 so that people can remain living in their own homes for as long as possible.
 
The organisations involved are: Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Active Ageing Partnership, Active Retirement Ireland, Age Action, Age & Opportunity, ALONE, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Care Alliance Ireland, Disability Federation of Ireland, Family Carers Ireland, the Irish Association of Social Workers, the Irish Heart Foundation, the Irish Hospice Foundation, MS Ireland, the Neurological Alliance of Ireland, Sage and Third Age.
 
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Wexford County Council Public Library Service and Age & Opportunity presents Changing Gears: A 6-week course about Building Resilience - taking stock, making changes, bouncing back & moving on

Location: Wexford County Library
Time: Wednesday afternoons, 2:00 – 4:30pm
Dates: 14th September –19th October 2016

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Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan T.D, today launched Ireland's participation in this year’s European Week of Sport.

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Grants are available to all eligible local clubs, groups and organisations that promote increased participation in recreational sport or physical activity for older people as a main element of their activities.A total of €300,000 will be available in grants in 2016, and grants awarded will be between €250 and €700.

To apply please download and complete the application form below and return it to us by 12 noon on Friday, 30th September 2016.  Grant allocations will be announced in November 2016.

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Dublin, Ireland 14th April 2016. Ireland is in danger of ignoring the contribution that older people can make to their communities, according to a report launched on Wednesday 13th April at City Hall, Dublin.

The findings are part of Touchstone Project, a community engagement initiative of the Active Ageing Partnership, (Active Retirement Ireland, Age & Opportunity and Third Age), and the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology in NUI Galway.

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Age & Opportunity is delighted to announce Iconic Citizens as the theme for Bealtaine 2016, Ireland’s annual festival of creativity as we age which is celebrated during the month of May. Last year, over 125,000 people participated in Bealtaine, making it one of the most important cultural events in the national arts calendar. This phenomenally high level of engagement, married with the creativity and enthusiasm of all involved, makes Bealtaine the vibrant and energetic celebration of creativity that it is today.


This year, Bealtaine will celebrate its 21st birthday with over 600 events in libraries, arts centres, care settings, galleries, local halls and community centres throughout the country. With a wide range of activities including poetry, writing workshops, traditional music events, art exhibitions and an important seminar about the use of creativity in planning our communities and care settings, there will definitely be something for everyone during Bealtaine 2016.

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Minister Michael Ring officially announced the recipients of the fifteenth Go for Life National Grant Scheme for Sport and Physical Activity for Older People in December 2015. These grants amount to a total of €300,000 being funded by Sport Ireland to encourage and enable older people to be more active. Groups successful in their applications include Active Retirement groups, ICA groups, Men's Sheds, Family Resource Centres, sports clubs.

As the New Year kicks off, groups across the country will be spending Go for Life activity grants on sports equipment, new programmes and sports days. The Go for Life Small Grant Scheme from Age & Opportunity and Sport Ireland awarded over 1,000 small grants to groups and clubs across the country who are encouraging physical activity among older people. These grants are estimated to reach over 30,000 older people each year and have, over 15 years, invested €5million in getting older people more active within their communities.

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Our Bealtaine festival is having its 21st birthday this year! We invite you to join with us in celebrating and marking the festival’s coming of age. For 2016, our theme is Iconic Citizens, which continues Bealtaine’s three-year exploration of Nationhood and Citizenship and specifically reflects on the first generations of citizens inhabiting the new Irish State. The festival will also consider where we are, culturally, as a maturing nation and people.

Here are some tasters of what Bealtaine 2016 has to offer:

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Bealtaine festival

Bealtaine Festival

Bealtaine 2017 is on it's way! Registration for Bealtaine events is still open on our website, and you can find out more about our theme and the 2017 Programme by...

Creative Exchanges

Creative Exchanges

Book now for our 2018 Creative Exchanges courses. This is a course for anyone leading creative activities with older people in care...