Membership of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities has recently been awarded to the Fermanagh and Omagh District, a step forward in establishing a district where older people can live "active and engaged lives".

By 2030 it is expected that 23 per cent of the Fermanagh and Omagh population will be aged 65 and over, compared to 15 per cent in 2015.

As a member of the network the Fermanagh and Omagh District is now part of a global movement of communities, cities and sub-national levels of government that are striving to better meet the needs of their older residents.

The recent accolade is the latest in a programme of actions being rolled out by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council as part of its 'Age Friendly Strategy'.

Welcoming membership of the WHO Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Siobhán Currie, said: "Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is committed to working with partners to establishing a District in which our older people can live active and engaged lives, making a valuable contribution to their communities."

"By joining the Network, we are committing to sharing and promoting the values and principles central to the WHO Age-friendly approach, implementing the four steps to create age-friendly local environments, and actively participating in the Network," Councillor Currie added.

The Council's Age Friendly Strategy was developed following a programme of consultation and engagement with older people, key stakeholders, service providers and Community Planning partners.

The strategy and action plan provide a practical set of actions to support the District’s older residents to play a full and active role both in their own communities and across the wider District.

As part of this commitment to creating an Age Friendly District, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has recently appointed an Age Friendly Officer. This post is funded by the Public Health Agency to facilitate partnership working between Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and partner organisations including the Public Health Agency, Western Health and Social Care Trust, South West Age Partnership and a number of community and voluntary organisations.