Get Vocal Project – Older Peoples Network

About Ageing with Confidence.

The Ageing with Confidence Group Programme is a holistic approach to health promotion for older people. It aims to enhance their development by providing education for health, by developing life skills and by promoting positive mental health and self-confidence thus leading to a better quality of life. It was developed for both men and women who are in middle, or more likely, later life and living in the community.

The objectives of the programme are to:

  • Assist and facilitate people to explore their own ageing
  • Challenge the myths and stereotyping that lead to ageism
  • Provide information on physical, psychological and social aspects ofgrowing older.

Each session of the programme is a combination of information on aspects of ageing or self-confidence with opportunities for self-reflection and sharing of experiences by group members. It is a psycho-educational programme and not a therapeutic one.

The content and materials for the Programme were designed by the late Geraldine Kenny (Principal Clinical Psychologist, North Dublin Clinical Psychology Service of the Northern Area Health Board). She based the content on her book: ‘Take Good Care of Yourself – Growing Older in Ireland’, which was published in 2001.


The Group Programme consists of 8 weekly two and a half hour sessions. Each session is delivered by facilitators trained by Age & Opportunity and consists of information on aspects of ageing such as:

  • Self-Confidence and Ageism
  • The Components of Self and Physical Ageing
  • Psychological Aspects of Normal Ageing
  • Self-Knowledge and Stresses in Later Life
  • The Emotional Self
  • Improving Self-Confidence
  • Isolation, Loneliness and Sexuality in Later Life

Review and Evaluation of the Programme

Age & Opportunity has overall responsibility for the quality of the programme,training of facilitators and promoting Ageing with Confidence nationally. We ensure that appropriate standards and quality are maintained by:

  • Selection and training of suitable facilitators
  • On-going supervision and up-skilling of facilitators
  • On-going review and up-dating of the programme as appropriate
  • Review and evaluation of each course provided
  • Commissioning independent reports on the programme

Facilitators are selected on the basis of agreed criteria, which can include a background in counselling, group facilitation skills, health promotion or community work. The aim of the facilitator-training course is to provide participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver the programme to groups of older people.


Vision Statement: To be decided

Overall aims:

The overarching aim of the Network is to develop as an organisation that speaks for and lobbies on behalf of Older People in County Wicklow.

Recent lobbying:

Recently our lobbying work included a submission to the Commissioner for Energy Regulation requesting action to help older people who are unable to afford their electricity bills. We also asked the Minister for Finance to ensure that older people will have adequate pension incomes when he is framing the Budget. And we asked the Minister for Health to remove the 50c prescription charge as it relates to older people.

Recent events:

  • Sports Fest
  • Seminar “ A Voice for Older People in County Wicklow”
  • Photograph Gallery
  • Newsletter –

get-vocal-projectAbout us


A need was identified by members of Wicklow County Council (WCC) for the Development of an Older Person Forum in the County.

Two consultation meeting chaired by Ms. Anne Ferris, Chairperson of WCC were held to identify the issues and to establish a working group.

The Network was established in December 2007 at a Public meeting in the Brockagh
Resource Centre, Laragh, Co. Wicklow. The meeting was facilitated by Garvan Hickey, Social Inclusion, Analyst from the Community & Enterprise, Section of WCC. Wicklow County Council kindly provided the initial funding.

The Network aims to provide a Voice for Older People in the County, and works on their behalf with all relevant agencies and Bodies. The Networks aims are to promote positive ageing, tackle ageism and to advocate on issues affecting the lives of Older People in the County.

Membership of the Network is open to all organisations and individuals committed to
improving the quality of life of Older People.

Co. Wicklow Network for Older People meets on a monthly basis, generally in the Brockagh Resource Centre, Laragh.

The committee is comprised of representatives from Older Peoples Groups, Individuals and relevant support agencies for Older People.

The Network Executive is currently developing structures and tools that will enable effective internal and external communication between older persons groups, older individuals and the Network Executive. The Network is also developing committee skills and which aim to build the capacity of the Network to enable its objective of becoming a self-sustaining organisation. Parallel to this the Network is involved in activities that will promote the Network as an entity thus continuing to increase its membership.

Examples of submissions made, advocating and lobbying initiatives

  •  Submission to Planning Section Wicklow County Council on issues and topics that impact on the lives of Older People in the County Development Plan
  • Submission on National Positive Ageing Strategy
  • Supported Age Actions – “Nobody Should Have to Choose Between Food and Fuel” campaign
  • Made recommendations during the review process of the County Development Board Strategy “Outlook”
  • Advocated on behalf of Older People in County Wicklow with Board Gais
  • Health Service Executive, Sports Facilities, Dublin Bus and others
  • Lobbying Wicklow County Council on Essential Repairs Grant
  • Supported protests over Medical Cards Issue

The Network has held two very successful seminars with over 150 People attending

  •  Seminar on Rights and Entitlements
  •  Seminar on Wills and Inheritance

The network has also lobbied and advocated on behalf of individual members in a variety of situations to ensure that their rights as Older People were being upheld and that they are being treated as equals and in a socially inclusive manner.


In 2009 the Network made a successful funding application to Age & Opportunity under the “Get Vocal Programme”. This has enabled the group to engage a development worker for 20 hours per week . The Development Worker took up her position in Jan 2010. The County Wicklow Partnership host the Development Workers employment.

Contact us

Anne Kavanagh, Development Officer, Co. Wicklow Network for Older People, Avoca River House, Bridgewater Centre, Arklow, Co. Wicklow.

Tel: 0402 – 20955 Mobile 087 1500 234 (Tues, Thurs – Fri)

Funding & Supports

Get Vocal – put link to Get Vocal programme on age and opportunity website

Wicklow County Council- Social Inclusion Unit – link

Bray Area Partnership


Co. Wicklow Citizens Information Service –

Health Service Executive –

Co. Wicklow Volunteer Centre