The Gallaher Trust has announced that it will continue to support Age NI’s ‘Staying Sharp’ programme with additional funding to allow the programme to continue for a further twelve months, allowing older people living with a Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) or early-stage dementiato gain much need additional assistance.
Since the inception of Age NI’s ‘Staying Sharp’ programme in 2019, The Gallaher Trust has provided £65,000 of funding to support over 200 people in the Ballymena area. With this additional funding from the Trust, the programme aims to support a further 50 individuals over the next year.
The ‘Staying Sharp’ programme provides support for older people, offering specialist one-to-one support, online and in-person group activities and specialist information, which will play a vital role in supporting the 350,000 older people living in Northern Ireland.
The charity ensures the voices of older people in the community are heard, empowering them to have the confidence to make healthy lifestyle decisions while reducing their levels of loneliness and isolation, as well as providing much-needed support for their carers.
Pauline O’Kane, Mild Cognitive Impairment Adviser at Age NI, is assured of the positive impact this additional funding from The Gallaher Trust will have on the charity, commenting: “Age NI is committed to transforming the quality of life for many older people, providing companionship, advice and support for those who need it most in society.
“We know that as we grow older, our thinking skills may start to change, which can include our memory, reasoning, decision-making and problem-solving skills, and that can have a huge impact on our identity and ability to engage with the world around us.
“With over 20,000 people suffering with dementia in Northern Ireland, our ‘Staying Sharp’ programme has been developed alongside leading experts to transform the prospects of people affected by dementia and we’d like to thank The Gallaher Trust for making this transformation possible.”
Trustee of The Gallaher Trust, James Perry MBE is certain of the impact the ‘Staying Sharp’ programme will have on the local community, remarking: “Not only does dementia affect the sufferer, but also those around them and in the wider community, which is why we are so very pleased of the positive impact the work of Age NI is having on the local Ballymena area.
“With the number of people over 50 years old set to increase by more than 30% in the next twenty years in Northern Ireland, the work of Age NI will be of paramount importance in ensuring the continued strength and success of our local community as we work together to support the most vulnerable in our society.”
The Gallaher Trust is currently welcoming applications for new delivery partners. For more information about becoming a delivery partner, to apply for funding or to download an application form, visit the website https://thegallahertrust.org/contact-us/ before the closing date of 31st July 2023.