Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Newry Man creates Social Media site to help older people

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editor@newrytimes.com
Saturday, April 11th, 2020
Coronavirus

As the lockdown enters its third week, a community organisation from Belfast has come up with an innovative solution to help older people who are finding isolation a very difficult challenge.

Thanks to funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, Kaleidoscope has developed a new social media site exclusively for older people called Greysnet.

 

 

The aim of Greysnet is to create a dedicated space for older people online.

It’s a place where people at all stages of grey (even those who dye their hair) can go to chat with other older people all over the country.

As well as a vital social outlet, the site also offers lots of information about things to do to keep mind and body active during the current pandemic.

There’s articles about everything from learning to play the Ukulele to practicing Tai Chi.

Kaleidoscope, the organisation behind Greysnet, have a lot of experience developing innovative projects for older people.

In 2014 the company set up the first-ever dedicated arts centre for older people in the UK.

 

 

In 2017, Kaleidoscope director, Newry man Kerry Rooney, was awarded the MBE for services to older people.

Kerry told us about the inspiration for Greysnet. “We really wanted to do something to help older people all over the country who are struggling with isolation right now.

“The current pandemic is particularly hard on older people.

“Not only are they more at risk from the worst effects of the virus but because the lockdown means that older people are cut off from their families, their friends and the social activities that help to keep them connected,” he stated.

“The internet is a real lifeline for older people at this time.

 

 

“More and more older people are using the internet to stay connected but there’s a real lack of sites that are dedicated to older users.

“We wanted to create a space that was specifically for older people.

“A place to meet and chat to other older people all over the country and to find useful information to help stay active during the current crisis,” Kerry added.

Kate Beggs, Northern Ireland Director of The National Lottery Community Fund who have funded this project said, “We are delighted to support this great work, helping connect older people from their own homes, improve creativity and build friendships.

“This is a very lonely time for many older people who have been cut off from their families and particularly those who live on their own, but the Greysnet online service is a great example of how we can still bring people together virtually to help and support one another.

“National Lottery players can be proud that the money they have raised is helping to fund some of these efforts,” she added.

As well as information about how to stay active, Greysnet will also be a place where older people can go to find honest and reliable information about staying healthy and coping with the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

 

You can visit the new site at www.greysnet.com

Kaleidoscope will be adding new information to the site every day and there are plans to develop the site further in the coming months with new sections and new features.

 

Keep up to date with all the latest Northern Ireland Coronavirus / Covid-19 news HERE

 

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