Archive for the ‘Latest News’

Big Lottery Funding For An Older Folks Outreach Project

Posted on: January 16th, 2017

WORDS ALIVE Writing Group Receives Funding

WORDS ALIVE writing group for older people based in Donegall Pass community centre, have successfully received funding from the Big Lottery Fund to develop their outreach project. Their project was formed to bring stories, poems, a bit of stimulation and craic, to older folk who may be isolated, under-appreciated, or simply interested in listening and reminiscing.

Now, with the financial support of the Big Lottery Fund, Words Alive hope to have a more enduring impact. They will be able to produce an anthology of their writings to leave behind after their visits. Both individuals and carers will be able to draw on different sections of the book as a prompt to writing and reminiscing about their lives.
It was in 2013 the group responded to a request made through Engage With Age to visit some groups of people in residential homes, day centres and sheltered housing, particularly to connect with the elderly and isolated in the community.

The Words Alive Outreach project began by visiting Edgecumbe Day Centre where a wide range of individuals attend, including those living with dementia. Our visit met with a great response. Everywhere we went after that we were asked to come back soon. We realised that we were addressing an endemic lack of stimulus for older people in a variety of circumstances.
We have now visited more than 20 different venues and we have gained confidence and an understanding of what works. We would like to build on this small success by benefiting as many elderly people as we can reach. And now, thanks to the Big Lottery’s support, we will be able to produce an anthology specifically geared to our outreach work.

Chairperson of Words Alive, John Galbraith said “We very much hope that other groups will follow our example as we have found a real hunger out there for communication that is simply not being met. It would be great if our visits and book could create a ripple across the lives of many elderly people in Greater Belfast and beyond.”

WORDS ALIVE Writing Group Receives Funding


Kate Glackin: 02890799197
John Galbraith:

The Greying Of Belfast

Posted on: June 18th, 2015


Did you know that in just over 20-years the number of over-50s in Belfast will increase by over 32,000? That’s bigger than Ballymena or Newtownards.

Northern Ireland and Belfast’s population is undergoing an ageing revolution. In 2012 just over 30% of the city’s population were over 50. By 2037 it will be almost 40%. The changes are even more marked at higher ages with the number of over-85s expected to double.

This unprecedented change will have a profound effect on everything from healthcare to pensions, public transport to fuel poverty. Unfortunately, however, policy makers don’t have enough information to plan properly for the needs of a ‘greyer’ Belfast.

That’s where you or someone you know can help. To understand the implications of an older city, Queen’s University is conducting Northern Ireland’s largest ever public health study, tracking the lives of 8,500 people – including almost 2,000 from Belfast – as they grow older.

Known as ‘NICOLA’ (the Northern Ireland Cohort for the Longitudinal Study of Ageing), the aim is to improve our knowledge about ageing and give participants a better understanding of their own health and wellbeing.

NICOLA participants are randomly selected from a database provided by Northern Ireland’s Health & Social Care Board. Participation is entirely voluntary and all data collected will remain confidential.

There are three stages: an interview, a questionnaire and a health assessment. First, participants will receive an invitation letter before being approached by representatives from Ipsos MORI (appointed by Queen’s to conduct the home interviews). Everyone involved with NICOLA will carry ID clearly identifying their role.

Secondly a paper questionnaire will be provided for completion and return in a pre-paid envelope. Thirdly, there will be a health assessment at Northern Ireland’s Clinical Research Facility at Belfast City Hospital.

The assessment, completed by registered nurses, includes blood pressure readings, lung function, thinking and memory tests, body measurements, physical measures, blood and urine sample collection, plus a detailed eye examination using equipment not available elsewhere locally.  Participants can choose to take part in all or some of the assessments.

A paper questionnaire regarding diet and nutrition will be provided for return in a pre-paid envelope. Follow-up home-based interviews will be conducted every two years with Health Assessments every four years.

NICOLA will help make arrangements to enable everyone to attend the health assessment. Travel expenses will be fully reimbursed and free car parking is available.   Participants will receive a discount voucher for a local café and theatre, and you may also bring a partner or friend for support.

NICOLA and its participants will change the way we live for the better. If you are contacted by NICOLA and want more information, please visit or contact 028 9063 3078.


Castlereagh Lifestyle Forum Spring Tea Dance 2015

Posted on: April 17th, 2015

Just in case you missed it!! Here is the Castlereagh Lifestyle Forum NVTV clip of their Spring Tea Dance.

Ageing well by being active every day

Posted on: February 11th, 2015

This leaflet provides guidance to older adults on the amount of physical activity they should be aiming for and the health benefits associated with staying active. It also offers tips and ideas on activities that older people may find useful and appropriate. The leaflet is aimed at older people of most physical capabilities.

Click here to download

Click here to download

Age Partnership Belfast Launch

Posted on: September 24th, 2014

Age Partnership Belfast

Launch of Age Partnership Belfast & Queens University report into service provision for men aged 50+

11.00am – 12.30pm, Friday 26th September 2014 Banqueting Hall, Belfast City Hall

Registration / Tea & Coffee from 10.30am RSVP Pamela at Volunteer Now on:

028 9023 2020 Email:

“Are you lonesome tonight?” seminar

Posted on: April 17th, 2014

Over 60 people gathered at Belfast’s City Hall on 27 March to attend the ‘Are you lonesome tonight?” seminar to share experience and examine issues raised by the Big Lottery funded HOPE project.

The seminar arranged by Engage with Age and funded by the Big Lottery and Belfast City Council heard from keynote speaker Professor Mima Cattan, Northumbria University, who has written extensively on the issue of social isolation and loneliness in later life.  Dr Cattan said,

Loneliness can affect anyone at any time and in any place. The tragedy for older people is when their social connectedness declines through ill health or loss leading to chronic loneliness.

An older person who sees no one and has no one to talk to day after day, week after week has lost their personal social value, which most of us take for granted.”

Ms Cattan has carried out research which has shown that effective interventions for isolation included groups that provide educational and problem solving or targeted support activities where older people are active participants and which enhance self-esteem.

Closing the event, Claire Keatinge, Commissioner for Older People said,

Friendship, company, feeling part of something, taking up or going back to hobbies and interests, being valued and making a contribution are all hugely important to older people.

Too often older people are particularly vulnerable to loneliness and isolation – friends may have died, family may live far away, poor mobility or ill health make it harder to get out and about, and reduced income can make participation difficult.

Being lonely is miserable, frightening and bad for health and wellbeing

The HOPE project is a great example of the determined and practical steps that Engage with Age have taken to find older people who are socially isolated and may be lonely – and to offer them a range of ways that this can change

The benefits are clear both to the older person and our wider communities. Improved health and quality of life, volunteering, reducing dependence on health and social care are seen again and again

Loneliness and social isolation damage older people – the HOPE project is really making a positive difference”

” The HOPE project has worked with over 200 older people over the past 2 years including a significant number of men in their 50’s, who are particularly isolated. The project offers friendship and fun through activities planned with older people, from fishing and furniture restoration to cooking and cinema” 

“Just ask the lonely”…….. lessons learnt from the Engage With Age BIG Lottery funded HOPE Project 2012 – 2014

 Just ask the lonely pdf doc






EWA receives GSK IMPACT Award

Posted on: April 17th, 2014

Engage With Age is delighted to have been  awarded a runner up GSK IMPACT award for 2014, in recognition of our clearly demonstrated impressive commitment to health and wellbeing of older people. The Manager, Margy Washbrook (second from the left), was invited to Stormont to collect the award from Minister of Health Edwin Poots.

IMPACT awards’ 2014



Castlereagh Lifestyle Forum Tea Dance

Posted on: April 17th, 2014

On 21st February Castlereagh Lifestyle Forum held a hugely successful Tea Dance in Orangefield Presbyterian Church Hall on the Castlereagh Road in Belfast.  

Members of the Forum welcomed friends from across Belfast to an afternoon of dancing and fun.  The afternoon got off to a great start with the help of Patience Bradley who successfully encouraged everyone to get up and join in the dancing.  The entertainment continued with songs and music provided by Gerry Clooney.  The refreshments provided by the church volunteers were lovely and we all went home happy.  


Asian 50+ Club

Posted on: April 17th, 2014

Friends of the Asian 50+ Club from Castlereagh Lifestyle Forum and South Belfast Lifestyle Forum were pleased to be invited to join them for a party in February in the Olympia Community Centre in South Belfast.  William Dickson from the local community association was glad of the opportunity to share with the members of the Club his work in the local community and Lesley Clarke from the South Belfast Lifestyle Forum and Finaghy Friendship Group was one of the lucky prize winners.  



Words Alive Writing Club

Posted on: April 17th, 2014

Words Alive Writing Club were proud to present a selection of their work at a reading in the Group Space in the Ulster Hall in Belfast in February.  

The reading, one of the Literary Lunchtime events, allowed the members of the club to present their work to a wider audience and through it they met with other like-minded people who are also developing their writing skills.  

Words Alive have been meeting now for a few years under the wise guidance of Ruth Carr.  They have published a book of poetry (available from Engage With Age) and have a programme of monthly readings and visits to older people’s groups and facilities.  



Engage with Age can accept referrals of individual older people aged 50+ who are at risk of loneliness and social isolation, inviting them to participate in group activities. At present Engage with Age does not offer one-to-one support for individual older people and cannot visit individual older people. To make a referral please complete the on-line Referral Form and submit or alternatively please print off a copy of the PDF Referral Form and send it to us. See also the Referral Criteria for details of who can be referred.

Online Referral Form PDF Referral Form Referral Criteria