MAYO County Council, in conjunction with Ireland West Airport, took home first prize in the Best Age-Friendly Initiative category at the 16th annual Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards in Dublin.
The awards acknowledge the hard work, innovation and enthusiasm within local authorities that often goes unrecognised.
This year saw the introduction of a new category – an award for the best Age-Friendly Initiative, which recognises the many excellent local government projects that ensure older people are rightfully valued by their communities and are provided with the services they need.
Mayo County Council and Ireland West Airport took first place for the implementation of their age friendly airport guidelines initiative. The guidelines have been endorsed by the World Health Organisation and can be used across the globe to ensure airports are inclusive and accessible, optimising opportunities for people of all ages to travel, but especially older people, by ensuring they are treated with dignity and respect.
Mayo Age Friendly Alliance, Ireland West Airport and Mayo’s Older Person’s Council worked together on the project with Age Friendly Ireland and Ireland West Airport will soon be the first WHO Age Friendly accredited airport in the world, which is no small accolade.
Peter Hynes, chief executive of Mayo County Council, welcomed the award, stating: “Mayo County Council is delighted with this award. We strive to make Mayo an Age-Friendly County, which values and cares for all its citizens equally, and this initiative is the result of a long-term collaboration between Mayo County Council and our partners in Ireland West Airport.”
Cathaoirleach Councillor Brendan Mulroy said it was a great achievement for the project to do so well, bringing recognition to the county on a national stage.
Commented Joe Gilmore, managing director, Ireland West Airport: “We are absoloutley delighted, with Mayo County Council, to win this award and to have achieved national recognition for our work towards creating a more age friendly environment at the airport.
“Over the past two years the airport has been working to transform the airport experience for our customers through the enhancement of our services and facilities and throughout the process have worked in collaboration with the teams at Age Friendly Ireland and Mayo County Council to ensure the transformation works and service offering met with the requirements of the Age Friendly Recognition Programme.
“I’d like to thank in particular our customer services and operations teams, who took the lead on this project, for their hard work in achieving this recognition and in doing so becoming the first airport in Ireland to achieve this recognition. It’s a fantastic honour for the airport and staff to be acknowledged in this way on a national level. I’d also like to express our sincere thanks to the team at Mayo County Council for their support and collaboration on this project, demonstrating once again a very positive example of what can be achieved when resources are combined on projects like this.”