THE Kinsale Age Friendly Town plan has been launched to make it a more attractive location for older residents and visitors.
The town is currently seeking members for the steering group to see its more ambitious ideas brought to fruition.
The plan, which was recently unveiled at the Blue Haven Hotel, was launched by County Mayor John Paul O’Shea.
The Kinsale Age Friendly Strategy has been up and running since 2014, when Kinsale became the only town in the county (and one of eight nationally) to be selected to take part in the Age Friendly Town Strategy for 2014/15.
A planner was appointed by Age Friendly Ireland to undertake the initial consultations and walkability study and draw up the age friendly Programme for the town.
This work was overseen by a number of local stakeholders who made up the steering group, including representatives from Kinsale Active Retirement Association, Cork County Council, K-CoRD, An Garda Siochana and Positive Ageing Week.
The report was completed in May of this year and contains 19 short, medium and long term actions which it is anticipated will be locally-driven. Two actions have already been successfully carried out in the town in conjunction with Cork County Council and Smiths Supervalu.
Aileen Hurley, Cork County Council Age Friendly co-ordinator mentioned the projects that have been completed to date and thanked all involved for their hard work and commitment during the works.
‘Five new benches have been placed along the Compass Quay walk, a new bench is in place at a convenient point on the walk between the town centre and the new Super Valu, and two Older Persons Parking Spaces have been installed close to the Super Valu supermarket – one on the surface car park and one in the underground car park for the convenience and use of older people. We are delighted with the progress made to date and will continue to work together to ensure further improvements are made in the near future,’ she said.
A third action of the programme is to engage with the business people in the town (in conjunction with K-CoRD) and roll out the Age Friendly Business recognition scheme. The first step towards achieving that goal was taken recently when Shane Winters of Age Friendly Ireland and Hannah Murphy of K-CoRD presented to over 40 local businesses at a Chamber meeting.
Cllr John Paul O’Shea was strong in his praise of the Age Friendly Strategy and commended the hard work done by all stakeholders.
‘The work done here in Kinsale as part of the Cork Age Friendly County Programme is an example to all towns across the county,’ he said. ‘Other towns that will take part in this initiative in the coming months would be well served by visiting Kinsale as it has certainly provided an excellent template for all to follow.’
The next phase of the programme will be to identify the priority actions. With that in mind the initiative is seeking new members for the steering group to help drive the actions in the plan. It is anticipated that an enlarged local steering group would have the capacity to choose and drive the next set of actions.
The plan now forms part of the Cork Age Friendly County Programme which is driven by the Alliance group, made up of key stakeholders including both universities, Cork Chamber of Commerce, Cork County Council, HSE, Bus Eireann and the newly-formed Older Peoples Council.
Following on from the success of the Kinsale Age Friendly Town Plan, a county-wide age friendly strategy is currently being drawn up and will be completed in early 2016. For further information contact Aileen Hurley at [email protected]