The Skills for Solutions Programme continues to work in the Ards Peninsula and South West Fermanagh.  Staff are currently examining statistics and speaking to key informants to agree the final two action research areas and hope to get local steering groups of over 60s established soon.

In the Ards Peninsula, results from the local questionnaire (149 responses) provided some very interesting information regarding the quality of life for older people living in the area.  Whilst 88% of respondents believed the Ards Peninsula was a good place to grow old, 55% said they had difficulty accessing medical appointments in Belfast. 63% would like to see greater police presence, 61% stated they sometimes feel cold in their homes and about one third of those questioned told us they occasionally or often feel lonely.  This is only a snippet of the information collected as the questionnaire provided a great depth of information which will be published along with research from the other areas later in the programme.

In Fermanagh, the group is currently undertaking research which will highlight the issues for the ageing population living in the south west of the county and the group will undertake training on getting the best from research and how to articulate the issues effectively from September to December 2010.  The group was keen to make the local community aware of their presence and posed for some publicity photos to accompany a press release.