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Stories of Our Age PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sinead Devine   
Thursday, 19 May 2011 10:42


The WEA were invited by Age NI to be a partner on a recent exciting digital storytelling project entitled: "Stories of our Age".

The project was aimed at older people living rurally and to give them the opportunity of having their voices heard on issues affecting them as they grew older. It also offered them the chance to develop some new skills using digital technology. This was not a prospect the participants were particularly looking forward to as many did not have much experience of working with computers. However with patience and perseverance, all the participants on the project developed a wonderful digital story. One participant has recently received a new lap top from her family and is delighted that she can now use it to create other digital stories for them.


The project took place in two centres; at the Learmount Community Development Centre in Park and at Keady Way in Limavady. The completed stories were then launched in Dromboughil Community Centre near Dungiven.

The stories were mainly positive siting the wonderful advantages about living rurally as an older person; having wonderful places to walk and keep active such as Roevalley Country Park, about the good friends and neighbours, about fresh local produce and the country markets.  They also noted that they were well served by a number of older people's community groups and centres. Some of the stories did touch on the difficulties about growing older in a rural setting, about how in bad winter weather many older people cannot get out and about and how this affects in particular the less able bodied in the area. This was due not only to the snow but to poor pathways and to inadequate lighting in the countryside. Another story whilst being very positive about a move from the city to the countryside did note that mobile, internet and even TV connections are poor and so lines of communication as older people can be restricted due to this.

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Mary Duddy, WEA facilitator on the project noted how open the participants were not only to the new technology but also to "sharing their own personal stories. This is actually the harder part of creating a digital story but everyone was very open to the whole process and we cannot thank them enough for sharing their thoughts and ideas with us".

Each participant received their own copy of their stories at the Lauch event and there are plans for Age NI to place the stories on their website. The project was funded by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.   


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