Belfast Telegraph

Advice centre for the elderly opens near Belfast peace line

A derelict former health care building has been unveiled off the Falls Road using National Lottery and Stormont funding.

A new “youth club” for the elderly near the west Belfast peace line represents the future for older people’s services, organisers said (Niall Carson/PA).
A new “youth club” for the elderly near the west Belfast peace line represents the future for older people’s services, organisers said (Niall Carson/PA).

A new “youth club” for the elderly near the west Belfast peace line represents the future for older people’s services, organisers said.

A derelict former health care building has been reopened off the Falls Road using National Lottery and Stormont funding.

It will give access to advice services, support for those living with dementia and gym facilities.

This is a move away from reactive care to a more preventative approach to care provision Terry McNeill

Springfield Charitable Association general manager Terry McNeill said: “The aim of the project is to improve the health and quality of life of older people by encouraging a more active lifestyle and healthy diet through a drop-in centre that also provides a safe place to socialise.

“This is a move away from reactive care to a more preventative approach to care provision.

“Also within the building we will house an advice centre service that will provide the perfect location to match our advisers’ excellent skills.”

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Mary Robinson and Ann Green cut the cake at the opening of the Springfield Charitable Association’s Youth club for older people in a once derelict building on Cupar Street, Belfast (Niall Carson/PA).

The centre has been designed to cater for those with dementia, with wide corridors and bright colours.

It is intended to be an intergenerational centre, where younger people can help the elderly set up Facebook pages or use the internet while the more mature can pass on their wisdom.

The space also aims to help revitalise life in the area claiming back an abandoned building and creating better connections for older people within the wider community.

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Springfield Charitable Association general manager Terry McNeill said the new centre was intended to help revitalise the area (Niall Carson/PA).

The project was supported by The National Lottery Community Fund with a grant of over £350,000, the Department for Communities, the Wolfson Foundation and the Alpha Fund.

Michael Hughes, the lottery-funded Space & Place Programme co-ordinator, said: “This facility is a fantastic example of how much can be achieved when a group understands the needs of its local community, and brings together a range of funders to help it realise a vision for their area.

“The Space & Place Programme aims to help communities transform underused, neglected or difficult spaces and this project will certainly help enhance the quality of life of people of all ages but in particular the lives of older people in the community through the creation of this imaginative and vital new space.”

PA

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