“Active Retirement Ireland will reach out to all older people to stop loneliness through friendship and support” – Mission Statement, Active Retirement Ireland Strategic Plan.
Active Retirement Ireland (ARI) is a voluntary organisation for older people with a national membership of over 24,500 people and over 550 local associations. The organisation’s rate of growth has been constant with a growth of 30% in 4 years. Members range in age from 50 -100+ years and cover a range of socio-economic backgrounds. As an organisation, ARI believes that all older people are equal and are entitled to be treated with respect. Older people all have different interests and needs, which ARI aims to identify and fulfil.
The organisation is run by voluntary committees at local, regional and national level giving approximately 4200 volunteers.
All the activities are aimed at keeping older people active and well. Active Retirement Associations are a lifeline for many older people who would otherwise feel isolated and lonely.
All older people are welcome to join Active Retirement Ireland, to have fun and have their voices heard, regardless of age, gender, culture or any other grounds.
The organisation is structured regionally through 9 regions whose role is to bring the local associations together for information, training, seminars and activities. Each region has a volunteer development officer whose role is to support existing local associations, support the development of new associations and represent the region with agencies. Each of the 550+ local associations is run by a committee of volunteers. These are self-organised and independent local groups whose members decide the activities on offer. The process used is based on the community development model of people being empowered to do things for themselves.
At national level, through the work of the organisation, ARI aims:
• To promote older people as independent, self-organised and active members of their communities.
• To act as a voice for older people and their concerns at national level.
• To promote positive ageing attitudes in Ireland.
• To provide training, support and information to the local associations of older people in our eight regions.
• To network the local associations for peer support, capacity building and information sharing.