AN older people’s empowerment day encouraging people to have their say in their own area will be held next week.

People from the Upper Springfield and Whiterock areas are invited to come along on Tuesday to discuss their needs and what activities they would like to see in their own community.

Micheal Donnelly, coordinator of the integrated partnership (an umbrella group comprising of the Upper Springfield Development Trust, Good Morning West Belfast, The Upper Springfield Resource Centre and Voices women’s group), said: “In 2017 we carried out a door to door consultation and one of the common themes we took from it was the isolation of our older people.

“From that, we decided to hold an empowerment day to allow the residents to come along and express their views themselves.

“The event itself will be very informal, tea, coffee, biscuits to break the ice so everyone feels comfortable. West Belfast MP Paul Maskey will also be there to offer his support.”

Micheal continued: “We will be holding focus groups to ensure that we find out what really matters to our older people, we want to get rid of the stereotypical views that older women want to knit and older men want to be involved in men’s sheds and that’s not necessarily the case.

“We have also invited some of the other older people’s groups to come along, anyone who wishes to come along is welcome, we also welcome people who aren’t from the Upper Springfield area.”

The Older People’s Empowerment Day takes place on Tuesday November 13 from 11am to 2pm in the Whiterock Community Centre.