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Age Friendly Fund now open

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Applications are now open for the Age Friendly Fund - a programme providing grants for projects that promote the inclusion and contribution of older people in community life.

The fund gives out one-off grants from $5000 up to $15,000, and applications for 2021 are now being accepted until October 4.

The grants are open to any New Zealand council, community organisation or registered non-profit organisation. All applications must be supported by the local council. Applications for new and innovative projects, supporting intergenerational connection, and using a kaupapa Māori approach are especially welcome.

Last year, seven groups were awarded funding. They were Tauranga City Council, Alzheimers Marlborough, Parksyde Trust Rotorua, The Family Centre Lower Hutt, Waikato Indian Senior Citizen’s Association, Rotorua Multicultural Council and Age Concern Nelson Tasman.

The projects funded include those that empower local businesses to adopt the Dementia Friendly Recognition Programme, create a post-Covid environment where seniors are connected, and reduce isolation through social programmes.

Office for Seniors director, Diane Turner, says the grants are available to help communities prepare for an ageing population.

“We know that New Zealand’s population is ageing, and we want to see older people being valued and given opportunities to contribute to and participate in their communities as they age,” she says.

The successful applicants in the latest funding round of grants are:

Alzheimer's Marlborough

Alzheimers Society Marlborough will use the funding to employ a project facilitator to provide dementia friendly awareness education to businesses and organisations in Marlborough. The aim of the project is to create a community that supports people living with dementia to continue to be actively engaged and connected community members.

Parksyde Trust Rotorua

The Older Persons Community Centre (Parksyde) will bring the voices together to develop an Age Friendly Rotorua Strategy, involving its many Parksyde Centre users, iwi, and the Rotorua community service organisations and agencies supporting older people in Rotorua.

Tauranga City Council

Tauranga City Council will be facilitating a project on Successful Ageing in a Post-COVID Environment, which aims to ensure that the community enables seniors to be well, active, connected, and secure.

The Family Centre

The Family Centre in Lower Hutt will be developing an age friendly plan for Pasifika seniors in Hutt Valley and Wainuiomata.

Waikato Indian Senior Citizen's Association

Waikato Senior Indian Citizens Association will provide weekly program for local Senior Citizens where they can get together, play games, share views and learn from each-other. Tea, coffee and Healthy lunch will be provided. Professional persons will be invited as desired to address the group to make them aware of their physical and mental health and general wellbeing.

Rotorua Multicultural Council

The Rotorua Multicultural Council is collaborating with Parksyde, the community centre for the 55+ age group, and with SeniorNet, a community training network that supports older adults in improving their computer skills. The programmes will introduce older migrants in Rotorua to the activities available through these two organisations and involve them in multicultural events to improve their community connections.

Nelson Tasman Age Concern

Age Concern Nelson Tasman will help encourage social connection in rural parts of the region, using a community-led approach. They will work directly with older people, volunteers and existing networks to find the gaps and establish more socialising opportunities according to the local needs.

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