Positive Ageing Week in the News

Kieran Hallinan, Director of Bluebird Care North East is pictured this week in the Drogheda Independent beside Joey Maher who accepted the certificate on behalf of the local team who participated in a unique volunteering initative last week promoting solidarity between the generations for Positive Ageing Week.

A number of Drogheda students contributed to their community in a unique volunteering initiative last week as the Louth Volunteer Centre promoted solidarity between the generations.

The project, part of the Senior Force Day celebrations running across the EU to recognise the 2012 ‘ European Year for Active Aging and Solidarity between Generations’ saw young people from various schools around Drogheda pair up with 50 or more senior volunteers from the community and gain insight into the contribution they make in their own community.

The students saw firsthand what exactly their ‘volunteering partner’ does to help out locally, while the older volunteers shared their experiences with the students which facilitated a shared experience for both generations.

This event was run alongside Positive Ageing Week (September 28 to October 6), organised by Age Action and supported by Bluebird Care, where hundreds of events took place nationwide to celebrate active ageing and to celebrate the contribution older people make within our communities. For the full story click here.

Pictured is Don O’Riordan Director of Bluebird Care Cork, with Deirdre Mullins, Kinsale Positive Ageing committee, and John O’Mahony, of Age Action Ireland. Deirdre was presented with a special plaque to mark the town’s participation in the Positive Ageing programme. Picture: Dermot Ryan.

Meanwhile in Co.Cork ‘POSITIVE’ was definitely the key word in the Positive Ageing Week activities in Kinsale where the work of the Kinsale committee was praised by John O’Mahony of Age Action Ireland when he visited the town on Wednesday to join students of the community school who entertained their older guests with a special showing of Casablanca followed by refreshments. Don O’Riordan, Director of Bluebird Care Cork speaking at the event said “Bluebird Care are proud to support Positive Ageing Week and the great initiatives taking place nationwide to celebrate positive ageing, such as this wonderful event here today.”

Although Co. Clare was not one of the 15 towns nominated as a Positive Ageing Week Town, Bluebird Care Clare celebrated Positive Ageing week by organising a number individual events with the help of a group of volunteers to provide entertainment around the county in Hospital and Day Centres.

The team celebrated active and positive ageing in Ennistymon Day Centre, Kilmaley Day Centre, St Joseph’s Hospital Ennis, Raheen Hospital and Day Centre, Carrigoran Nursing Home, Clarecastle Day Centre and Cahercalla Hospital.

The week was described as a wonderful success with many thanks to Eddie Lenihan (Seanchaí), Musicians Ged Foley, Chris Hallinan, Dominique Lyons, Seamus Bugler and Terry, Singers, Success Odiase and Elizabeth , and Marie and children from Newmarket on Fergus National School.

Stay tuned for more on Positive Ageing Week 2012.

Serving the Community, Saving Lives

Pictured at the official launch of Ireland’s First Blood Bike Service, Blood Bike West is (l-r) Mike Carty, chairman and founder of Blood Bike West, English TV adventurer, travel writer and celebrity biker Charley Boorman and Director of Bluebird Care Galway Sean Lyons, sponsors of the specially liveried Honda motorcycle Pan European ST1100, an ex-Metropolitan Police bike

Celebrity Biker Charley Boorman Launches Ireland’s First Blood Bike Service

It is truly inspiring to see a group of people come together to give so generously of their time to not only serve their community but to save lives.”

English TV adventurer, travel writer and celebrity biker Charley Boorman, was speaking at the official launch of Ireland’s first blood bike emergency medical transportation service, Blood Bike West, in Galway, Monday October 8.

The 24-hour emergency rider voluntary service will transport urgently needed blood, blood products, patient records, drugs and other medical requirements between hospitals and blood transfusion banks, primarily but not exclusively in the western region.

Mike Carty, chairman and founder of Blood Bike West described the launch as a “a first step in developing a comprehensive service in the West of Ireland.”

Our charity combines our passion for motor-biking and our commitment to civic leadership. A team of 10 volunteers will run the service which is operational Monday to Thursday 7pm to 7am and from 7pm on Fridays to 7am on Mondays, with a complete 24-hour service over the weekend and on Bank Holidays.”

We offer our free service to private hospitals and other medical outlets, but our first partnership is with Galway University Hospitals to transport urgent blood and other medical products at all times of the day and night.

We couldn’t have brought this project to fruition without the support of our sponsors. Bluebird Care Galway who actually bought the bike for us and Carole Nash who are our insurers,” says Mike Carty.

Blood Bike West is made up of a dedicated team of ten riders and crew, who have received advanced training through RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) and undergo regular reviews of their skills. They received their Certificates of Accreditation at today’s launch.

Tony Canavan, Chief Operating Officer, Galway and Roscommon University Hospital Group welcomed the provision of the service, “By providing this service Blood Bikes West are directly impacting the lives of patients and their families throughout the Western region. Their service also provides added value to the hospital by reducing our reliance on couriers’ fees and taxi fares. Their swift delivery and speedy response in times of need will prove invaluable and indeed could make the difference between life and death.”

The specially liveried Honda motorcycle Pan European ST1100, an ex-Metropolitan Police bike generously sponsored by Bluebird Care is fully kitted out and specially adapted to carry the products. All Blood Bike riders are Garda Vetted and carry official identity cards which are worn at all times whilst on duty.

Director of Bluebird Care Galway, Sean Lyons says, “we are delighted to be on board with this invaluable service that will make a huge difference to the peoples lives in the West of Ireland. We very much look forward to supporting this group of volunteers committed to serving the community and saving lives.”

Mr. Boorman was invited to the launch by motorcycle insurance specialist, Carole Nash, for whom he is an official ambassador. The company stepped in to support Blood Bikes West when the charity was struggling to find insurance cover for its operations. Carole Nash’s marketing manager, Lisa Buckley, said the firm was delighted to be able to help. “We are more than happy to help out in providing protection for those who will protect the lives of others. Blood Bikes West is simply a wonderful service in which to be involved and we wish them all the best.”

The team at Blood Bike West aim to promote good practice among their volunteer riders and improve the perception of bikers from other people on the road.

All riders will have to hold an advanced riding qualification to ride the Blood Bike. High-Viz jackets are worn at all times and the Blood Bike West bike is marked so that both bike and rider are extremely visible to the public when riding.

If you are interested in joining the Blood Bikes West team as a blood runner, co-ordinator, fundraiser, marshal, committee member or if you would simply like to donate log onto www.bloodbikewest.ie for more information.


Positive Ageing Week – A huge success

Age Action’s Positive Ageing Week is over for another year and  we would like to say that we have thoroughly enjoyed being involved.

From film screenings (‘The Brothers’ in Boyle and ‘Casablanca’ in Kinsale), the ‘OAP’ olympics in Cashel and many Dances, to information sessions, storytelling, boat trips, wood walks, and not forgetting the tasty Big Bake where we let several of Grandma’s secrets out of the bag, it’s been a week to remember.

Thanks to everyone involved, in particular Age Action for having us on board and all the town committees for all their work and hospitality throughout the week.

Keep celebrating positive ageing and ensuring Ireland is the best place in the world to grow old.

Celebrating Positive Ageing Week in Dungarvan

Pictured at the launch of Positive Ageing Week in Dungarvan is Brian Egan Director of Bluebird Care Carlow/Kilkenny/Waterford proudly presenting a distinguished Positive Ageing Week Town Certificate to Anne Marie Rossiter, local councillor and Chairperson of Dungarvan Positive Ageing Committee.

We would like to thank Dungarvan Positive Ageing Week Committee for all their work and hospitality throughout Positive Ageing Week. The week was a huge success and Bluebird Care are thrilled to have supported it and been part of it.