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The NICOLA Study

19 December 2017

The NICOLA Study is the first large scale longitudinal study of ageing in Northern Ireland.

The first wave findings were published in November 2017 by Queens University Belfast. It helps to highlight the trends, opportunities and issues which come from an aging society.

Volunteering and social participation are key components of a healthy approach to aging and the first wave report shows that volunteering among people over 50 included in the study is at 18%.  This is lower than the level detailed for the whole population in the most recent NISRA report (https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/dsd/volunteering-in-northern-ireland-research-report-2016.pdf) at 32%.

While the two methodologies are not the same so comparisons need to be undertaken cautiously, this finding would allude to the fact that older people are not volunteering at as high a level as the population as a whole and it echoes results from other studies.  This is concerning and requires further investigation and efforts to increase the levels of volunteering among older people. 

See link to the longitudinal study on ageing phase 1 report https://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/NICOLA/FileStore/Filetoupload,783215,en.pdf

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