The Link Me project has now come to an end and will no longer be supporting any beneficiaries or volunteers on the project.
The Link Me project was set up to tackle social isolation in older people with a learning disability in the Omagh and Carrickfergus areas for adults over 55 with a learning disability by supporting them to participate in local community activities.
The project supported 81 people in the Carrickfergus and Omagh areas and was set up to run for four years with funding from the Big Lottery Fund and in partnership with Volunteer Now, Omagh Gateway Club and Carrickfergus Senior Gateway Club.
In November 2017, Mencap NI launched the end of the Link Me project report, at an event at Parliament Buildings in Belfast.
This event called on the Government and Local Councils to improve social inclusion and access to community activities for older people with a learning disability, particularly those with complex needs.
The report outlines the key achievements and learnings from the project and offers recommendations to improve community access and make older people with a learning disability a priority group in promoting social inclusion and developing emotional wellbeing.
Mencap NI wants local councils and community agencies to actively plan and develop activities and information that will include older people.
Margaret Kelly, Director of Mencap NI said:
“Older people with a learning disability experience many health and social inequalities which make it particularly difficult for them to participate in community life. Reduced social networks put them at greater risk of social isolation, exclusion, depression and ill-health. The Link Me project sought to address this through a programme of tailored support which promoted their inclusion in local activities.”
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Watch the video to find out about Mencap Northern Ireland's Link me project.
The project was set up to tackle social isolation in older people with a learning disability.
People supported by the Link Me project told us that their confidence has improved, they did not feel so lonely and over half of the older people involved can now access community activities independently.
We want to thank all the volunteers, families and community partners for their support.
Congratulations to all the older people involved who have achieved their personal goals and have graduated.
They have reported feeling more connected with their local community.