The Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland, Eddie Lynch, at South Eastern Regional College’s Downpatrick Campus where he met Level 3 Health and Social Care students who have set up Golden Memories, an activity club for older people. Pictured at the inaugural session are (L – R) SERC Lecturers, Dorothy McLaughlin and Rosemary Peters, students Oliver Fenton and Tia Moore, Eddie Lynch, Commissioner for Older People in NI, Ellen Brennan, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Alison Shaw, Northern Ireland Social Care Council.

A group of entrepreneurial-minded students from South Eastern Regional College have set up Golden Memories, a social activity club for older people in the College’s Downpatrick Campus. Mr Eddie Lynch, the Commissioner for Older People, visited the College to meet the students and clients at the inaugural session this week.

The Level 3 Health and Social Care students came first in the College’s Enterprise fortnight Environmental Category when they researched the demand for services in the local area for older people who were socially isolated.

Rosemary Peters, Lecturer in Health & Social Care, School Health, Early Years and Adult Education said, “Following their research, the students put together a plan for running an activity club in the College. They secured funding from the Geraldine Boden Fund and Linking Generations to run the club for up to 12 people, from 10.30am to 12.30pm for 15-weeks from early December.

She added, “The team consulted the Safe and Well team in the South Eastern Health and Social Services Trust, Newry and Mourne District Council and Good Morning Down to help plan the activities Our first session involved making some festive treats and healthy foods and of course there was the opportunity for everyone to get to know each other over a cuppa and a scone.

“This time of year can be lonely for many people, particularly for older people, in our community who may be on their own so the students were keen to get the club up and running before Christmas. It has been tremendous to watch the students take the lead, under tutelage from the Health and Social Care team at the College and see them turn an idea into a viable enterprise. Our students are getting hands-on experience liaising with external bodies and working with services users as part of their course, giving them valuable experience before they progress to further studies or employment.”

Level 3 Health and Social Care students who have set up Golden Memories, an activity club for older people, which will run from South Eastern Regional College’s Downpatrick Campus for 12 weeks: Nicola Hanna, Tia Moore, Conan Lennon, Catherine Hickey, Oliver Fenton, Vicky Getty, Caoimhe Murray and Aislinn Armstrong.Golden Memories FE 2

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