Older people from Ballymena have joined together with fellow seniors from throughout the borough to celebrate Mid & East Antrim Agewell Partnership’s ‘Peacing Ages Together’ project.
UV Paint, trampolines and circus skills were just a few of the exciting activities on offer at the event which was attended by nearly 400 ‘seniors’ from across the borough.
‘Peacing Ages Together’ is a series of 15 age friendly cross community projects, funded through Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s PEACE IV project.
Over the past year, 30 local community groups were partnered together and travelled to visit each other, to meet new friends and try out some new activities together. The event was their chance to show off what they’d tried and they definitely did that.
Cullybackey Seniors and Glenlough Ladies Partnership, for instance, got their rave on when they took to their trampolines to display their ‘boogie bouncing’ skills while All Saint’s Men’s club joined Whitehead Community Circus, juggling hats and balls.
The hall was decorated with various amazing displays of art from Vis Art Ballymena, The Weavers Larne, Monday Club Portglenone and Greenisland House and an intergenerational mural by Doury Road Youth Committee and Alzheimers Society Friendship group.
Novice actors took to the stage from Creative Crafters, Senior Moments, Broughshane Community and Age Concern Larne with contemporary dancing from Cloney Rural Development and Victoria Fold, Whitehead.
Mid and East Antrim Agewell Partnership (MEAAP) secured funding of over £150,000 through a partnership with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s European Union’s Peace IV Building Positive Relations Working Group, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). The other themes in the programme included history with Hillstown Rural and Townparks, Larne looking at WW2 while North Ballymena Cluster and Cruse Bereavement Larne looked at the Fifties and Sixties. Glenravel District and Linn Road Ladies rolled back the years by looking at their childhoods and performed an original song at the event. The ethnic minorities theme took in High Kirk and N.E Seniors, Carrick who made Thai Arts and R.N.I.B East Antrim and Women on Wednesdays playing and singing music from around the world. Intergenerational partnerships between nursing homes and pre schools met up again at the event and both Tamlaght Nursing Home and Sunnylands Nursery Carrickfergus, and Gillaroo Home and Inkpots Daycare, Larne, confirmed their sessions together were a massive success for all.
MEAAP Peace IV Project Officer Sarah McLaughlin said the event - “Shows off what we achieved across the borough with this PEACE IV funding. Getting older people out of the house, trying something new, creating new friendships and building their confidence again. I would like to thank all my participants for taking on the challenge I set them.”