The Ennis Age Friendly Town Strategy (2021) has won the ‘Age Friendly Environment’ award at the National Age Friendly Recognition and Achievement Awards 2022.
The Age Friendly Environment award recognises projects that bring about change in the built physical environment with older people in mind. Simple additions such as adequate public seating, level footpaths and appropriate crossing times at pedestrian crossings all have a huge impact on the ability of older people to be active in their towns and villages.
The Ennis Age Friendly Town Strategy was formulated and implemented by the Ennis Age Friendly Town Team, a group formed by the Age Friendly Programme Manager and led by Ennis Municipal District. The strategy contained actions across a number of areas including improvements in the physical environment, urban policing, social and recreational infrastructure, health and wellbeing and age-friendly orientated customer service. Enhancements to the physical environment included drop kerbs, additional pedestrian crossings, age-friendly seating, age-friendly parking as well as accessibility enhancements to recreational areas. The implementation of the strategy ensures the needs of the older person are incorporated into the design and delivery of services and infrastructure in Ennis.
Deputy Mayor of Ennis Municipal District, Cllr Mary Howard, who accepted the award on behalf of the Council, commented: “These enhancements in our urban environment will significantly impact the quality of older persons’ lives, keeping them engaged and active in their communities.”
Carmel Kirby, Director of Physical Development, Clare County Council, acknowledged “the important contribution that the Ennis Age Friendly Town Team have made to the lives of older residents and visitors to Ennis, with targeted interventions, thereby ensuring Ennis is a great place in which to grow old”.