Macklin Care Homes, which runs Park Manor in Dunmurry, have announced Age NI as their chosen charity of the year for 2019, aimed at helping eliminate loneliness and social isolation in the older generation in local communities across Northern Ireland.
The partnership commences with a series of ‘Friendship Days’ kicking off on January 15 with each of the five care homes within the group, including Dunmurry, inviting members of the local community for afternoon tea and entertainment.
The inspiration for the project came from some of the children and young people who regularly visit family in the homes.
Mary Macklin, Director at Macklin Care Homes explained: “We have a lot of young people visiting our homes and they love to interact and engage with our residents.
“In conversation we explained how important their visits were to the residents and we asked what they thought could be done to help older people who were feeling lonely.
“Some of the answers truly warmed our hearts, they suggested we could simply talk to them and say a ‘Hello’. Some suggested sharing their lunch, others suggested bringing their pets, and so on.
“All the ideas were just lovely, and we can definitely learn something from the simple act of extending the hand of friendship to someone in need.
“We then came up with the concept of ‘Friendship Days’ where we will reach out to others and share what we have, hopefully doing some good for our local communities and our residents at the same time.”