About Limerick Seniors Forum
Limerick Seniors Forum is a group that came together to speak up about the issues affecting older people in everyday living. The Forum was initially supported by Get Vocal (a Third Age National Programme) which aims to strengthen the voices of older people by increasing the ability of older people to make themselves heard.
The Forum is a structured way to voice concerns and then bring chosen concerns to the appropriate public representative, body or agency. The aim is to give older people more say in decision-making through a collective voice instead of individually.
The Forum is inclusive of all the communities which make up Limerick City & County and aims to ensure that older people who do not normally get the opportunity to be heard have a place in order to do so. We need the involvement, commitment and contribution of older people to make this Forum work well.
Timeline 2011 – 2015
2011- 2013 – What has happened so far; a consultation event was held in the summer of 2011 to ensure older people’s involvement early on in the planning of the project.
On the 19th November 2012, an event called ‘Positive Ageing in Limerick’ was held which informed people on what other counties in Ireland are doing around the Ageing Agenda, to hear about the National Policy Issues and the establishment of the Limerick Forum. Well over 100 older residents attended; with representation from all the main clubs, groups, organisations who are involved in ageing matters in Limerick. There was a huge show of support for the establishment of a forum.
Following on from this Seminar, the very first meeting of the Limerick Forum for Older People (the group are currently constructing their own name for the Forum) was held on 28th November 2012. There was very positive turnout, again with representation from all the clubs and groups and indeed citizens interested in empowerment, engagement and positive contribution from this sector.
Then on 22nd January 2013 the second meeting of the Forum was held with a good turnout of around 16 older people despite freezing fog to show their support for the establishment of a Forum of Older People. At this productive meeting, the group named themselves ‘Limerick Seniors Forum’ and elected a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson.
This Project is supported by Age & Opportunity, Strategic Innovation in Education and the Local Community Development Fund.
The Get Vocal programme & its associated funding came to an end in Nov 2013. LSF was successful (with support from PAUL Partnership) in being awarded funding to assist with coordination and further development of the Forum for 2014 via the Social Intervention Fund with Limerick City & County Council.
During 2014, LSF began to grow in numbers, strength, and functionality supported by a development worker from PAUL Partnership.
In Nov of 2014, it became evident that funding would be an issue for the Forum going forward as there would no longer be funds available to hire a development worker for the Forum so a group of approximately 15 LSF members decided to keep the Forum established and are currently coordinating LSF activities and looking into funding opportunities.
In March 2015, a number of members formed a committee of 10 and have successfully developed the Forum into an Information & Advocacy group for all older adults in Limerick & City and County. Our members hold positions on the Age-Friendly Initiative, the Older People’s Council, Older Adult representation with SIPTU, we are affiliated to the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament and Age Action Ireland.
The Forum in partnership with Age Action Ireland started the first U3A ( University of the Third Age) group in Limerick. The group meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 2 pm in the Granary Library Michael Street. This is a peer-led learning circle of older adults who enjoy outings and organise guest speakers on topics of interest.
We have held information sessions in various locations around the city to inform older adults on relevant issues. We attend the various older adults events such as the Marigold Annual Festival, Limerick Sports Partnership Positive Ageing Week, Age Action Ireland and the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament AGM’S. Representing Limerick’s older adults interests.
As we have progressed our members have made submissions to local media and radio on various issues affecting older adults. We are on the journey in adopting the Governance Code.
Limerick Seniors Forum became a Host Organisation for the Seniors Alert Scheme.