Active Retirement Ireland News
• Active’s five-year strategic plan • Places to go: Things to do • Bealtaine Festival 2009 • Older & Bolder Update • The Importance of Being Elders • Drawing Studies – A Celebration • ARA activity around the country • Useful information • Dates for your diary
Welcome to the new ARI News
This issue will give you news from ARAs around the country on what is going on and what ARAs are planning for 2009. The issue will also provide you with updates on what is happening at national level with ARI and other organisations we work with. ARI and the 462 local associations aim to promote positive ageing through a wide range of activities that keep our members active, independent and well. With all the news about the economic downturn, it is good to see such a positive attitude coming from the ARAs. Congratulations to all those members who supported our position on the return of the universal medical card to over 70s. Your participation at the Irish Senior Citizens’ Parliament march to the Dáil and subsequently at the ARI general council meeting was dignified and showed strength of voice coming from ARI members. ARI will continue to voice the concerns of our members on the governments approach to older people and argue for the return of the universal medical card to over 70s. At national level ARI promotes growing older as a process of development that ensure older people do things for themselves, organise their own activities and run their local associations, regional councils and national organisation themselves.
Contd. inside »
Have your Say
This newsletter is an opportunity to have your say. Send us your items of news, views or photographs and we will try to include them in the next edition. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Call 01 679 2142 or write to: Active Retirement Ireland, Shamrock Chambers 1-2 Eustace Street Dublin 2
Golden Years Celebrate in style
The golden girls - Babs, Peig, Bernie and Co have done it again as the Golden Years Festival in November run by the Sacred Heart ARA in Waterford was an outstanding success. Activities included talent shows, going to the dogs and bowling. A gala ball to finish off the festival brought out the finery.
» Active Retirement Ireland News «February 2009»
Welcome to the new ARI News Contd.
This issue will also give you information on Older & Bolder, Age & Opportunity along with useful tips and information. The organisation’s first five-year strategic plan update is included for your information. I hope you enjoy reading ARI news.
Maureen Kavanagh CEO
Active Retirement Network Ireland five-year strategic plan 2009-2013
The legal name of ARI is Active Retirement Network Ireland-the name that is on the limited company. However Active Retirement Ireland ARI is still used as our everyday name. From October 2008 – January 2009 the organisation has been working with Partnership Solutions to develop a five year strategic plan. This work has been made possible by a planning grant from Atlantic Philanthropies. Following a series of consultation meetings with members around the country and the National Executive Committee, the five-year plan was put together and is now at final draft phase. The contribution of you, the members was essential and feedback was incorporated into the final draft. Over the next 5 years the organisation must consolidate the work to-date and fix our communications with local ARAs. The plan outlines the purpose of Active Retirement Network Ireland – to enable retired people enjoy a full and active life and advocate for them There are three clear strategic outcomes that need to be achieved The strategic outcomes for 20092013 are to: • Be an organisation that people would be proud to be part of locally, regionally and nationally • Be a recognized voice for retired people on social, health, learning and economic issues in collaboration with other organisations • Develop the database, structures, skills, funding sources and activities of the organisation in a professional manner. The NEC plan is to bring the strategic plan out to the members through a series of regional meetings so that the members can clearly understand what the plan is about and more importantly find out how local ARAs and their members will benefit from having a five-year vision.
Places to go: Things to do
Art for the Actively Retired – Open day on 5th March 2009 in the National Art Gallery, Merrion Square for all Active Retirement Associations. Bryan Dobson, RTÉ presenter, and Anna Manahan, the well-known actress, will launch Art for the Actively Retired, a special day of free events (music, art workshops, tours, dancing, drawing demonstrations) being held on Thursday 5 March (11.00am-4.30pm) in association with Active Retirement Ireland. A programme will be provided on the day for visitors to pick and choose the events they wish to attend. It promises to be a great day of entertainment and art.
Bealtaine Festival 2009
May is now recognised as the month to celebrate the creativity of older people (Age & Opportunity). The Bealtaine Festival-coordinated by Age & Opportunity is the ideal chance for ARAs to show case their pool of talent
and creativity. Gorey ARA has planned a 3 day celebration for the festival with a talent show, dances and storytelling. Ballybunion ARA intends to host an art exhibition and launch a compilation of their work by the writers’ group.
PALs –Go-For Life
Physical Activity Leaders is a great programme for active members of Active Retirement. To train as a PAL you must be willing to take part in eight PAL workshops where you will learn to plan and lead health-enhancing physical activity sessions for older people. If you are interested contact Age & Opportunity, Go For Life at 01 8057733 for more information
Members of Rathmines ARA display some of their art & crafts during Bealtaine 2008
«February 2009» Active Retirement Ireland News »
ARI AGM 2009
The Annual General Meeting of Active Retirement Ireland will take place between the 21st and the 22nd April 2009. The venue will be the Clare Inn, Co. Clare. The annual Art Exhibition will also be taking place and we look forward to seeing the great works that will be displayed. The results from the 2008 Art Exhibition were: 1st Prize Jacqueline Heaton – Salthill, Co. Galway 2nd PrizeSylvia Coombs – Bantry, Co. Cork 3rd Prize Lilian Enright – County Limerick Civil Defense The People’s Prize went to Teresa Cullinan of Ballycallan, Kilmanagh, Killahoe, Co. Kilkenny. Many more came highly recommended. The paintings were judged by artist Dolores Lyne and the main sponsor of the Exhibition was Galway City Council.
Older & Bolder Update
This year, 2009, is going to be a busy and exciting year for the members of the Older & Bolder alliance, including Active Retirement Ireland. The members of the alliance are committed to a joint National Positive Ageing Strategy Campaign. We want an effective strategy that will improve the quality of life of older people. This will only happen if older people have their say in the design of the strategy. There will be opportunities for older people to make their views known over the next six months. Members of Older & Bolder are now working on ways of ensuring that we all make the best possible use of those opportunities. A Cross-Departmental Group has been set up by the Government to develop the Strategy and the Minister for Older People has said that she wants to hear the opinions of individuals and organisations. There will be a public consultation with an invitation to make written submissions and regional meetings organised on behalf of the Minister. As you know, the European and local elections are taking place in June and will give everyone another chance to raise issues of relevance to the National Positive Ageing Strategy.
Older & Bolder is encouraging everyone involved in the alliance to make their voices heard during the public consultation and the elections. Shortly, we will provide information and materials about the National Positive Ageing Strategy to back up your involvement. Meanwhile, Maureen Kavanagh, ARI’s representative in Older & Bolder, Kevin Molloy, ARI Chair chatting to will keep you in touch with the Maire Hoctor, Minister for Older latest developments on the People at Older & Bolder conference campaign trail. Patricia Conboy
» Active Retirement Ireland News «February 2009»
ARA activity around the country
The group takes two or three holidays a year, as well as several days out, and they meet from September to July. Mountbellew ARA have had an active first three years! Founded in 2005, the group consists of approximately 40 members. They have attended the musicals “Oklahoma”, “My Fair Lady” and “Mamma Mia”, as well as many places of interest. In 2007, local TD Paul Connaughton invited the group to the Dáil. Thanks to Michael Kitt TD, they also took tea with President McAleese in Áras an Uachtaráin that year! Last year’s excursions included Armagh (where they met yet another luminary in his Eminence Cardinal Seán Brady!), Belfast and Giant’s Causeway. Kingscourt Active Retirement have been on the go for almost four years now, and were deeply upset to lose a former chairman in Jim Patterson, who passed away last September. Jim’s last meeting with his ARA saw him pressing for a defibrillator for Kingscourt, so his fellow members decided upon a fitting tribute to their friend. Raising €5,000 from sponsorship cards alone, they were kindly sponsored by local businesspeople and held a very successful Quiz Night in Blake’s Pub. The final night of fundraising was a spectacular evening of Christmas music. With help from Pulse Ireland and four local entrepreneurs, Kingscourt ARA managed to purchase seven defibrillators and donate €1,000 to the Heart Foundation! St. Brigid & St. Patrick’s ARA in Limerick had a wonderful break in Killarney last summer, staying in the Gleneagle Hotel. They loved the entertainment each night and enjoyed a trip around the Ring of Kerry. They also put their craftwork skills to work, creating a beautiful St. Brigid’s cross using knitting, weaving and crochet. The cross is currently on display in St. Brigid’s Church in Limerick. St. Ruadhan’s Active Retirement Association in North Tipperary had a very busy 2008! They took a four-night holiday in Donegal, organised through McGinley Travel, whom they would thoroughly recommend to other ARAs for their excellent service. Some of their members are involved with Arts and Crafts and held an exhibition
Listowel ARA Members socialising
Listowel Active Retirement meet every Tuesday for two hours in the early afternoon. As well as light exercise, singing and a range of fun activities; the group is very active in all aspects of town life, from committees and hospital visitation to their deep involvement in Listowel’s twinning with Downpatrick, Co. Down and the development of a local Day-care Centre.
Members of Mountbellow ARA on a trip to N. Ireland stopping off at Armagh where they were greated by Cardinal Seán Brady
«February 2009» Active Retirement Ireland News »
St Brigid & St Patricks ARA at the Geneagle Hotel Killarney
Members of Letterkenny ARA at the Punchestown Races with RTÉ personality Ronan Collins
St Brigids Cross now hanging in St Brigids Church Limerick
for Bealtaine ’08. At the same time, their Creative Writers Group published a booklet of their short stories and poetry entitled “Take a Leaf”. These activities and displays have given St. Ruadhan’s the reputation as the best organisation to be set up in the parish, which makes all the hard work worthwhile. Wicklow ARA recently took part in an eight-week course called “Ageing with Confidence”, sponsored by Wicklow County Council in the Further Education Centre in Wicklow Town. The course had a wide and varied agenda, including Self-Confidence and Ageism, Self-Knowledge and Stress in Later Life, The Emotional Self and Spirituality. These and other subjects were dealt with at great length, with a lot of interaction between members and facilitators. The main point of the course was trust, meaning that members felt they could speak freely inside the meetings. According to all sources, the course was very enjoyable and informative.
Portarlington ARA quilt
Phibsboro Active Retirement Association held three major events in the build-up to Christmas. As well as their Christmas Party and a trip to the Botanic Gardens, they held their annual Dinner Dance in Jury’s Hotel Ballsbridge. Tickets were €65, which included transport to and from the Hotel by coach. The group are planning a holiday this coming spring with Wales and England among the venues mooted so far. Letterkenny ARA spent a magical day at the races last November when they attended the meeting at Punchestown Racecourse. Heartily welcomed by PRO Jessica Collins and her father, Ronan Collins of RTÉ, a good day out was had by all. The highlight came when one of their members, Eileen Farrelly, was
named ‘Best Dressed Lady’. This was one of many excursions organised by this ARA and they certainly hope to repeat the experience in 2009. Broadford Active Retirement were the very special guests at a Garden Party at Áras an Uachtaráin last July. The members really enjoyed meeting the President and readers of the Broadford Parish Newsletter were treated to a picture of five members with her Excellency and her husband Martin shortly after. Portarlington Happy Hearts Club ARA were busy last autumn making a beautiful patchwork quilt comprising almost 1500 separate pieces. They raffled the fruit of their labours in aid of their local Meals on Wheels and raised €1,284! Local Social Services Official
» Active Retirement Ireland News «February 2009»
gratefully received the cheque on 5th November last. raffled the fruit of their labours in aid of their local Meals on Wheels and raised €1,284! Local Social Services Official gratefully received the cheque on 5th November last. Ballina ARA are planning to be very active, they have already attended their first tea dance of 09 in Claregalway where they not only danced but have a good old sing-song as well. Other activities planned are aqua aerobics, mat bowling, Irish classes and the monthly table quiz keeps the brains active. “Flights of Fancy…for all ages” is the title of Galway Senior Writers’ latest release. This booklet of poems and stories, beautifully illustrated by Bernie Keogh, contains over twenty pieces of original work by the Galway Active Retirement Association’s Writers’ Group and makes a beautiful gift (if even for yourself) at only €10. It is available from the Writers’ Group directly and is published by Clódóirí Lurgain of Indreabhán. Bray Active Retirement Association. The Association has been in existence for the last twenty years and during that time its numbers have swelled to well in excess of 200 members. Originally from
Ballina, Co Mayo, Anne moved to Dublin as a young bride in the 60’s . While rearing a family of four, she managed a thriving B&B, which was situated in the picturesque port of Dun Laoghaire. She moved to Bray in 1996 with her husband George and, since then, has become an active member of the local community. Anne is a member on the board of the Bray Partnership and she also sings with the Holy Redeemer Choir. She says: “I came to live in Bray in 1996. My husband George and I thought that it would be a good idea to join the Active Retirement Association, as it would help us get to know people in our community; we found it a great way to get to know people while socialising and enjoying ourselves. Sadly, my husband passed away in 2004 and I, obviously, found this very difficult but I had to keep going and stay strong. During this time, I started to get more involved in the Active Retirement Association and I started organising afternoon tea dances at Bray Golf Club. These proved to be a runaway success attracting members, not only from Bray but from Wicklow, Greystones and further afield. Over time, I became more and more involved with the association and I was honoured when I was asked
to take over as Chairperson last September. In my free time I enjoy singing and I’m a member of the Holy Redeemer Choir; that’s something that I thoroughly enjoy as singing has always been a passion of mine. A recent highlight was singing at midnight mass on Christmas Eve, it was particularly exciting because the entire event was being televised for RTÉ. The atmosphere in the church was amazing and it really helped to enhance the festive atmosphere. I’m also a grandmother to three energetic toddlers, so let’s just say that keeps me busy!! Since I took over as chairperson, I’ve really enjoyed working to help improve the lives of the older people in Bray. The Active Retirement Association is vitally important because it provides new stimulus, new friends, social contacts and a change of routine for all of our members.”
Anne Heffernan Bray ARA
The Importance of Being Elders
We are Elders And our Roles have been tremendous, We have carried forth our culture, And our Heritage with splendour, And we have placed them on the threshold, of this fledgling millennium. We are Elders, We are carriers of wisdom, Gathered and collated, On our journeys, through life’s ages We don’t know where we’re going, But we know from where we came. We are Elders, And on our journeys through life’s stages, We have helped to shape this Nation, Paid our taxes, - and lived by the laws of legislation,
And we volunteered, without hesitation, To lighten the load, of the over-laden, And make their lot, - a lot less painful, Our time our energy, - we gladly give it With never a thought, of compensation, Other than our Rights, as Citizens, In the Economic Changes. We are Elders, An important, an integral part, Of this Country’s Population, We seek only, income, - that is relevant to our ages. We seek proper transport, and proper Education, - And proper living places. We seek rights, to be engaged in the making, Of the Policies, - that are relevant to our ages, And we seek the goodwill of our neighbours, - In our hours of tribulation. Máire Uí Fhlatharta Tirellan ARA
«February 2009» Active Retirement Ireland News »
A Good Experience with my Scooter
My wife and I decided to go to see “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” in the Savoy in Dublin recently. There were no ramps to the box office, nor were there lifts to where the film would be shown. One member of staff kindly directed me to the Cineplex on Parnell St. When we reached the Cineplex, I was able to go up the ramp to the foyer, where a security guard directed me to the box office. A kind young man told me that my wife could sign a form as my carer and see the film for free. Two cinema tickets for €7 – what a pleasant surprise! After a coffee, we proceeded to our screen. The three steps outside proved no obstacle, as a very pleasant young lady was already waiting to operate a ramp. She told me
she’d be back there to help as soon as the film was over. What service! Every member of staff we met was so polite and helpful it was obvious they were used to helping people. We will go there again and again.
Drawing Studies – A Celebration
The exhibition “Drawing Studies: A Celebration” is an exhibition of adult work, reflecting the artists’ studies in the National Gallery of Ireland. The resulting drawings are symptomatic of the joy and creativity that occurs when people of all ages engage with the collections of a museum or gallery. The exhibition showcases the extraordinary range of work that people in later life create when motivated. “Drawing Studies: A Celebration” is not a fanfare show – it is constructed along simple lines with the clear aim of representing a cross-section of the work of students in the oldest art form: drawing. Comprising 26 works, “Drawing Studies: A Celebration” is touring to venues all over Ireland and is accompanied by a 48 page fullcolour catalogue. Feb/March – Kildare Education Centre 9 March-10 April – Wexford Education Centre 14 April-31 May – Waterford Museum of Treasures ARI will be running IT training across the country in conjunction with Computer Gym – a mobile IT training centre. This project – funded by the Dept. of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources – will start by training sixteen of our members in each region to become tutors themselves in techniques such as how to send emails, book holidays on-line, google information etc. Each of the sixteen, upon completion of their training, will pass on their skills to members of their own ARAs. For more information or to arrange National Gallery drawing classes, please contact: Brina Casey (Education Officer: Outreach), National Gallery of Ireland, Merrion Sq. West & Clare St. Dublin 2. 01 6633506 / email@example.com
Active Retired Techno in logy
If you are interested in developing a Fáilte Isteach Project in your area, please contact the Third Age Foundation on 046 9557766 for further information and assistance. The Community Foundation for Ireland’s Small Grant Scheme makes grants to not-for-profit and voluntary groups working in Ireland. They favour all projects leading to the social inclusion of people and communities who are excluded by reason of geography, race, age, disability, family, circumstances, poverty or gender. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and assessed three times a year. Closing deadlines for 2009 are: 27th February (successful grants received in August) 31st July (successful grants received in September) 30th October (successful grants received in December) Applications must adhere to the guidelines on www.communityfoundation.ie/grants/ Email firstname.lastname@example.org Or write to: The Community Foundation for Ireland 32 Lower O’Connell St. Dublin 1 for more details. The Artist in the Community Grants Scheme offers grants to enable artists and communities of place or interest to work together on projects. The scheme covers all art forms. The scheme is managed by Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts. The application forms will be available from mid-January and there are two deadlines for the two distinct phases of the scheme: 26th February and 25th June. For further information call Create on 01 4736600 or email email@example.com
Services For The Elderly is a new service provided by South Meath Social Economy Ltd. It provides household maintenance at a subsidised rate for the over 60s and the disabled in Co. Meath. All their employees are trained in a wide range of skills, such as building, maintenance, landscaping, cleaning and recycling. They are also trained in health and safety, Safe Pass and manual handling. For more information, contact Services for the Elderly on 046 9437282, Freephone 1800909000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Fáilte Isteach is now going National Fáilte Isteach was established in 2006 by the Third Age Foundation in response to the difficulties that new migrants were experiencing in their daily lives as a result of a lack of English. It is a unique project, which utilises the skills, talents and expertise of older volunteers. It harnesses their desire to contribute positively to society and make a difference by providing conversational English classes for new migrants. A manual has been published to help others who would like to provide this service in their community. It contains information on how to research the need for such a project, how to set up and advertise the classes and it even includes suggested lesson plans.
An Garda Siochána have a number of useful crime prevention sheets, two of which are on Personal Safety – Bogus Traders/Callers and Personal SafetyHoliday Security. For further information contact your local Garda Crime Prevention Officer or visit www.garda.ie
Dates for your diary
Art for the Actively Retired – an open day in the National Gallery of Ireland on Thursday March 5th 2009. All ARAs are invited to come and enjoy the entertainment and works of art. ARI AGM 21st & 22nd April 2009 – Clare Inn, Co. Clare ARI Annual Art Exhibition at the AGM Irish Seniors Citizens Parliament AGM 17th & 18th April Gleeson Hall, DIT Dublin 8
The views and opinons expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of ARI.
Active Retirement Ireland News
Email us at email@example.com Call 01 679 2142 or write to: Active Retirement Ireland, Shamrock Chambers 1-2 Eustace Street Dublin 2