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Older People’s Advocate will deliver strong independent voice for sector

23 May, 2008

Sinn Féin Junior Minister Gerry Kelly MLA is looking forward to engaging with the new Older People's Advocate.

Advertisements have been placed in local Press this week to appoint an Advocate who will act as a conduit between the sector and Ministers until the appointment of an Older People's Commissioner. This appointment for a Commissioner requires legislation to be put in place so an Advocate will cover the interim period, providing Ministers with information and analysis on older people's priorities.

Gerry Kelly said:

"The advertisement of this post is good news for all of the older people here. As a society we have a duty to ensure that older people are not excluded or disadvantaged.

"We are absolutely committed to improving the lives of our older people and the appointment of an Advocate is an important first step towards fulfilling our commitment to deliver a strong independent voice for older people."

Among a wide ranging remit he or she will have a significant role to play in providing ministers with the views of the voluntary and community sector on the impact and practical out workings of policies and strategies aimed at older people. In addition they will co-chair, with a senior departmental official, the Advisory Panel which will report back to Ministers about issues relevant to the sector.

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