Older people throughout the county are being encouraged to make their voice heard and change how their communities are run.
Addressing the audience at the Wexford Older People's Council (WOPC) AGM in the Riverside Park Hotel, Chairman Kevin Molloy said those present had the power to influence their local authority and make a difference to how amenities and services in their area are developed.
Established last year, under the auspices of the County Wexford Age Friendly Programme, the WOPC is working to ensure older people are central to the decision-making on matters which affect their everyday living.
And the AGM provided members with an opportunity to discuss the progress made in nine key areas since the group's inception.
Focusing on Outdoor Spaces & Buildings, Transportation, Housing, Social Participation, Respect & Social Inclusion, Civic Participation & Employment, Communication & Information, Community Support & Health Services and Safety & Security, the committee reported back on its work over the past year.
Also in attendance was Councillor Michael Sheehan, Chairman of Wexford County Council, and he said the WOPC could play an integral part in ensuring Wexford became a great county in which to grow old.
'The creation of communities in which ageing can be a positive experience is something that starts at a local level. The establishment of Older People's Councils in local authority areas gives older people a strong voice to influence local development,' said the Cathaoirleach.
Local folklorist Michael Fortune then treated the audience to a very entertaining talk on local Wexford traditions.
Elections were then held to elect representatives for two vacant positions on the Executive Committee. These committee members will now represent the WOPC at meetings with the Age Friendly Alliance, which monitors the progress of the Age Friendly Strategy and Action Plan in County Wexford and reports back to the Older People's Council.
Members of An Garda Siochana, the Fire Service, Wexford PPN and the Housing Section were present at the AGM and offered practical advice and supports for the attendees. A workshop was held to get the views and opinions of audience members on the issues facing them as well as the good things happening in the county for older people. This feedback will be used by the Older Peoples Council Executive Committee in the coming year to determine their priorities and work plan.
The Older Peoples Council is open to anyone aged 55 and over living in County Wexford. If you are interested in joining please contact Ann Marie Laffan, Age Friendly Co-Ordinator, Wexford County Council on 053-919600.