Is your Town Age Friendly? Is your town age-friendly? Are the facilities and services in your town easily accessible to older people? A significant social change identified by many communities across the Ballyhoura area is one of the ‘ageing population’. Everyone hopes that as they grow older, they will be supported to stay in their own home, be listened to and taken seriously, be able to work or volunteer, enjoy a good social life, and have access to good information and healthcare. Communities are anxious to plan for the future and ensure their communities are physically and social ready to support older people to continue to have a sense of belonging, feel safe and feel valued. An initiative to develop a network of Age Friendly Towns in Cork is welcomed by Ballyhoura Development. The funding, from Cork County Council, will support towns to become more age friendly so that communities will be great places in which to grow old. The Age Friendly approach to planning improves life for everyone in the community because environments, services and systems which are designed to be accessible and open to older people also benefit children and young people, their parents and people with disabilities. Four Age-Friendly towns have already been established in Co Cork, one of which is in the Ballyhoura area - Mitchelstown. Mitchelstown is an example of an Age-Friendly town where initiatives to date have been hugely successful, and underpinning the success has been that the process has been led by older adults in bringing key stakeholders together to prioritise the changes needed and in implementing the changes that are contributing to a better quality of life. Applications are now being sought from interested towns for Age Friendly status under the County Cork Age Friendly Town Fund. Along with support for the successful towns, funding of €5000 per year, for two years, will be available to enable implementation of the Age Friendly Initiatives. Application forms are available from Mary Creedon ([email protected] or 021 4285557) or Noelle Desmond ([email protected] or 021 4285161) through the Cork Age Friendly Office. Closing date for applications is Friday March 27th 2020 at 4pm.