21 September 2017

As people live longer, we all need to consider how best to support the older generation in our community – but also how best to celebrate them. Our friends in Northern Ireland are currently gearing up for Positive Ageing Month: a festival of events and activities for older people in Belfast throughout October, celebrating the contribution older people make to their communities.

Photo of a Northern Ireland tea party for older people

As people live longer, we all need to consider how best to support the older generation in our community – but also how best to celebrate them. Our friends in Northern Ireland are currently gearing up for Positive Ageing Month: a festival of events and activities for older people in Belfast throughout October, celebrating the contribution older people make to their communities.

Now in its third year, the month-long festival includes a range of activities geared towards older people – from movies, to walks, to dancing – as well as visits to some of Belfast’s many cultural sites.

Last year, the Eden Project Communities network hosted Journeying Together: an event designed to encourage independent travel on public transport with the senior smart pass, and raise awareness of the transport options available to smart pass holders. A large group of seniors journeyed together on the train, sharing in a Big Lunch and each other’s company. Our ever-increasing reliance on digital communications and technological advancement makes it easy to forget the simple things, like eating and travelling together.


This year we’re hosting a lunchtime event, Belfast from Blitz to Glitz, and will be encouraging attendees to share their stories which could otherwise be lost as generations pass – from dressing up, to first boyfriend/girlfriends and street party memories. Attendees are asked to bring memorabilia and photos, of your street and community in times gone by. Together, we hope to create a special memory capsule to reflect the experiences and lives of older people in Belfast. The connections made over the shared lunch are an added bonus!

Of course, you don’t have to go to an organised event to celebrate the older people in your community. And it’s no good having one month where you develop intergenerational relationships, but go through the next eleven without nurturing them! Older people are a part of your community, wherever you are, and they always will be. The sooner you start to support and celebrate them, whether as an individual or through a project, the sooner you’ll reap the rewards that intergenerational connections offer – to individuals as well as the wider community.

Take a look at the full guide to Positive Ageing Month in Belfast and take inspiration from other projects working hard to nurture intergenerational relationships.