Magheragall Parish Friendship Club has been getting sound advice on securing funding for the activities programme it offers older people.
Club member Stephen Walker attended a workshop run by Age NI’s Comic Relief supported project Steps to Funding.
Age NI says Northern Ireland has a strong network of older people’s organisations and local groups.
“As our society ages this network is an essential element of what is needed to provide local opportunities for older people to remain active, healthy and engaged and to tackle the isolation and loneliness that we know too many older people experience,” the charity’s development manager EJ Havlin said.
“Age NI’s Steps to Funding project aims to help local groups to help themselves by increasing not just their understanding of the funding process, but their confidence and networking opportunities too.
“Too often smaller groups don’t know about the financial support that’s available or how to access it. Steps to Funding workshops provide information and support and remove some of the confusion.”
Stephen said the workshops had made him feel more confident about the funding application process, which he believes can often be challenging, particularly for smaller groups.
“Magheragall Friendship Club organises a range of activities for people over 50, including a Lunch Club, Seniors Club, workshops and Out & About Club which organises trips to places of interest,” he said.
“A small group like ours can really help local older people feel less isolated and part of a welcoming, caring community. That’s why ensuring that the group receives funding is so important.
“I felt that I needed much more information to help me research and identify the right funding opportunities for our club.
“The Steps to Funding workshop was a really positive experience. It opened doors I didn’t know were there.
“I met people from other local voluntary organisations, big and small, and gained from their knowledge and experience too.”
For more information on age sector funding opportunities and associated resources and training, log onto www.ageni.org/stepstofunding