Age & Opportunity

Posted on 24 Mar 2021

Age & Opportunity is the leading national development organisation improving the quality of life of people aged 50 – 100+.

Member Q&A

What is your goal? 

Our Mission: To achieve the best possible quality of life for people aged 50 to 100+.  

Our Vision: An Ireland where all older people are more active, more visible, more creative, more connected, more often. 

Our Values: Age & Opportunity is bound by a set of Core Values and a shared commitment to the diversity, equality, inclusiveness and visibility we envision for our all older people in Ireland.  

  • Older People First: The views, opinions and experience of diverse older people inform all that we do.  

  • Equality & Inclusivity: We work to ensure equality of participation for all older people, irrespective of background, culture, identity, setting or location.  

  • Inspiring: We celebrate and showcase stories of ageing.  

  • Pioneering: We explore and push out boundaries relating to opportunities for activity, creativity and visibility.  

  • Excellence: We strive to create an ethos of excellence with strong governance and clear transparency. 

How have you been working towards it? 

In 1988 Age & Opportunity was founded in response to the need of more positive attitudes towards older people and ageing. Today, we continue to innovate and establish ourselves as a leading thinker on ageing in Ireland, challenging key issues to encourage positive change and wellbeing as we get older. 

How has being a member of The Wheel helped? 

The training, events and guidance provided by The Wheel has been a wonderful resource for all the staff at Age & Opportunity. The last year has been particularly tough for everyone and being a member of The Wheel means we have their support and representation.  

How can people support you? 

We design our programmes with an approach that empowers people to be the agents of their own lives. We are continually finding new ways to engage, to motivate and to support people in this adventure. We encourage older persons to take part in our initiatives in our Active, Arts and Engage programmes. Spread the word and let other people know about what we do and how they can get involved. 

Do you have any success stories to share? 

Delivered by Age & Opportunity and supported by Sport Ireland, FitLine is a volunteer-led free telephone line, designed to help older people who want to feel a bit healthier, but perhaps don’t have the motivation, confidence or information to take that first step.  

Sue Guildea, who began working with Age & Opportunity in 2007, is currently the Active Programme Manager, and she says, “FitLine is an initiative of our Active Programme, the National Sport and Physical Activity Programme for Older People, which has been funded by Sport Ireland and the HSE for the last 20 years.”  

FitLine user Bridie O’Reilly from Dublin greatly appreciates the impact the service has made on her health, both physically and mentally. “The last year has been difficult and lonely at times. My three sons and daughter are living around Ireland, so we haven’t seen each other as much. Having that social connection FitLine provides, has been invaluable during this time, and the motivation and support are wonderful.”  

Bridie, who had previously been a volunteer with Age & Opportunity herself, turned to FitLine when she noticed a change in her mood and exercise habits back in 2016.  

“I wasn’t myself. I had stopped being active, my clothes were feeling tighter, and I had gained some weight. I knew the positive impact FitLine could have on people, even before the pandemic. The volunteers can suggest some exercises if you are struggling, and it’s never an order. It’s a gentle way of them saying ‘we are here for you’. FitLine has been very helpful and has motivated me to keep moving, whether that’s walking around my garden, or using online exercise resources. I get the call every two weeks on a set day, and I always look forward to the conversation.”  

For anybody looking to use the free support line, Sue advises older people to make the initial phone call themselves rather than a family member or carer. “They’ll have a friendly chat with our administrator, who will explain to them how FitLine works, and if they decide to register they will be referred onto a volunteer. The volunteer will call them to chat about setting their own personal goals around becoming more physically active.”  

You can find out more information about FitLine by visiting ageandopportunity.ie or by phoning FitLine on 1800 303545.  

Where can people find out more about your organisation?

https://ageandopportunity.ie/ 

https://www.facebook.com/AgeandOpportunity 

https://twitter.com/Age_Opp  

https://www.instagram.com/age_opp/  

https://www.linkedin.com/company/age-and-opportunity 

Age & Opportunity