Finding friends in cultural places
Members of Wexford's Cultural Companions celebrated the first anniversary of the group at a party in the Wellness Garden of Wexford County Council headquarters in Carricklawn.
The initiative is jointly run by the Arts Department and the Community Development Section of the County Council and is aimed at people aged 50 and over who are interested in going to arts and cultural events but may not have anyone to go with.
Cultural Companions provides them with access to a network of like-minded people who attend events together as a group.
'The aim is to provide increased opportunities for older people to engage with Wexford's vibrant arts and cultural scene,' said Age Friendly co-ordinator Anne Marie Laffan.
People who sign up receive a quarterly calendar of events from Wexford County Council and they choose which of these events they want to attend and book and pay for them independently.
The County Council works with volunteer members to draw up the calendar of events. An autumn programme is due to be sent out to members soon.
People meet up at an allocated time before the occasion, attend the event together and enjoy a social get-together afterwards.
Over 50 members turned up for the first anniversary celebration, with an additional 12 new people enrolling as members at the event and representatives from Dublin Cultural Companions also arriving in a show of support.
The participants enjoyed music and light refreshments and were taken on a tour of the 'Here/There' exhibition in the County Hall. Fianna Fáil councillor and General Election candidate Lisa McDonald was the guest speaker.
Membership of Cultural Companions is free and people are encouraged to go along on their own as a meet-and-greet person attends each event to welcome members.
Cultural Companions is a nationwide programme. Anyone interested in joining the Wexford group should contact Eilish Cullen on 053 9196564 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.