Here at Age NI we rely on fundraising by members of the public to keep our vital services going for older people across Northern Ireland.

One such fundraiser is Julie, from County Antrim, who will be running the Belfast SPAR Craic 10K on St Patrick’s Day to support our work, inspired by a 93-year-old runner she met at the Park Run.

Julie contacted us to tell us why Age NI is so important to her. She said, “My Granny died in October 2020 at the age of 96. As she got older, my family struggled to look after her. We had never cared for an elderly person before and didn’t know what help there was out there. Age NI’s Advice Line service is a brilliant resource for individuals and families in a similar situation. We found it so helpful.

“Over the last few years, I became very inactive and gained a lot of weight, so I wanted to set myself a physical challenge. The motivation of fundraising for Age NI is really important to me, knowing that the work you do will help many older people live the life they deserve.

“In October 2021 I took part (as a walker!) in my first ever Park Run. I fought to get myself round the 5K course and was sore for days after. 3 weeks later I took part again and this time I met an amazing lady named Grace, who is 93 years of age.

“Grace and her friend Cathy helped me to start running part of the course. I struggled and was tired, but I was so proud of myself when I crossed the finish line: it was great and the two of them were so inspirational!

“I discovered that Grace has done over 110 Park Runs in the last five years. She started at the ripe age of 88 – she is truly amazing! I had only ever intended to walk the Park Runs but with Grace’s encouragement I am taking part regularly, I’m doing interval training and hope to run the full 5K in the coming months. My family are on board too now and I take part in the Junior 2K Park Runs on Sunday mornings with my sister and her children.

“I have signed up for SPAR Craic 10K run on 17th March in Belfast. I am going to use the opportunity to raise funds for Age NI. Knowing that my running can help your charity, will push me to work harder and do the best I can.”

Rosalind Cole, Fundraising Manager at Age NI said, “What an inspirational story!  We all need someone like “Amazing Grace” and her friend Cathy as role models to embrace life with both hands no matter what age we are.  Well done to them all and best of luck to Julie with the training for her first 10k on St Patrick’s Day! Thanks for supporting Age NI, it means such a lot to the older people who rely on our services.”

To support Julie’s fundraiser, visit .

To find out more about Age NI, visit