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NIFHA | News | Driving the Independent…

Driving the Independent Living Agenda

Published on: 9 September, 2014

There’s an extra boost for the 55 and over living in Ballymena and Antrim who want to remain in their own homes with the expansion of an award-winning Floating Support Service to the area.


Fold Housing Association, in partnership with the Housing Executive’s Supporting People Programme, is expanding this free service from the current catchment of Newtownabbey, Carrickfergus and Larne.  The service will be able to target the specific needs of up to 140 people in Ballymena and Antrim and is tailored to the individual.

The expanded Floating Support Service will provide additional employment for three people to include a scheme co-ordinator and two support workers and represents an investment of over £98,000 in the area.

The launch of the service’s expansion took place at Fold’s networking breakfast ‘Supporting Independent Living’ where key speakers included Mags Lightbody, the Housing Executive’s Acting Chief Executive, and Eileen Patterson, Fold’s Director of Housing Services.

The event, ‘Supporting Independent Living’, also aims to broaden the conversation on shaping the future delivery of services for older people and help inform the current review of the Supporting People Programme in Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the event Mags Lightbody, from the Housing Executive, commented:

“The development of community based services to support older people remain at home is vital.  Giving choice and control to those who wish to stay at home for as long as possible is a key aim of the Housing Executive. 

I am pleased to be at this launch, to witness the expansion of FOLD’s service and I am delighted with the part the Housing Executive is playing to make it happen.”

Meanwhile Fold’s Eileen Patterson remarked:

“This innovative, low level service prevents older people from becoming dependent, either unnecessarily or prematurely, on health and social care services and enables them to maintain their independence in their own home. By targeting the specific needs of individuals and designing the flexible service around those needs, it is making a tremendous difference to the lives of many older people.”


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