Why the ‘Voice’ of Older People?
We at the Voice feel that the key to bringing about real change is that when we use our ‘voice either individually or collectively’ that we do so to engage in a ‘constructive dialogue’, that is to say, that the people who should be listening – are listening and listening in an active and not a passive way.
All too often, however, it seems that this is rarely the case, it can appear that we are talking to ourselves and that decisions are made and the people who they affect are ignored or not listened to.
And indeed it is often very easy to ignore one voice, it can be dismissed off hand, or humoured for a while and then ignored, however, a central tenet of the Voice of Older People, Donegal is that it has always strived to galvanise and unify disparate voices, through localised networks to consolidate and ‘form a junction’ with other individuals and groups, so as to add additional potency and influence to the often isolated voices and opinions of older people - and we will continue to cultivate expand and develop these localised networks so as to enhance progress in the near future.
We feel that it is only largely through true strong dialogue, one in which all parties express their opinions equally, openly and honestly and respond constructively, respectfully - can the issues of older people be fully listened to and progress made.
We also however, have to be realistic, it is easy sometimes, to be reactive to want to respond to all sort of needs as they arise or are presented, but this can weaken our work by the fact that we are being stretched too thin. So therefore, The Voice of Older People is going to be more focused in our approach, we shall through a process of discussions identify a number of key objectives which will have distinct practical and relevant outcomes; So that older people can see actual change in their communities.