Earlier this year, an all-island photography competition put a call out for images of older people doing everyday activities.

Under the theme of 'Staying Active, Staying Social, Staying Connected', the competition hoped to capture the lived experiences of an older generation and portray them in an authentic and inclusive way regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, politics, income, or post code.

Launched by the Institute of Public Health (IPH) in April, the How We Age photography competition sought to reframe how older people are portrayed in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The Institute intends hopes to use the entries to create a gallery of stock images in order to promote healthy ageing, which may become a free image source for allied organisations.

The judging panel was made up of Professor Roger O’Sullivan, IPH Director of Ageing Development and Research; Eddie Lynch, Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland; Tara Byrne, Arts Programme Manager, Age & Opportunity; Robin Webster, Adjunct Lecturer, Irish Centre for Social Gerontology, NUI Galway and former CEO Age Action Ireland, and Maresa Fagan, IPH Communications Officer.

Photographer: Helen Maloney

First prize, a €500 gift voucher, was awarded to Helen Maloney from Athlone, a member of Athlone Camera Club, for her lovely image capturing her own mother, Eileen, in her shop with her great granddaughter Ryleigh Maloney Hughes.

Photographer Gerry Scully

Second prize, a €300 gift voucher, went to Gerry Scully from Dublin, who captured his parents in law, Aidan and Mary Ellison, having a fun moment on a family holiday in France.

Third prize, a £100 gift voucher, went to Mark Davison, from Lisburn, a member of Belfast Photo Imaging Club, who captured a poignant moment during the Covid-19 pandemic, which was aptly titled 'Sweethearts'.

Photographer- Mark Davison

Commenting on the winning images IPH Director of Ageing Development and Research Roger O'Sullivan said: "We were struck and highly impressed by the creativity of photographers across the island who entered the How We Age competition."

"Many entries featured parents, grandparents, neighbours, friends or community or group activities and the breadth of images really captured the ordinary and extraordinary moments in the everyday lives of older people."

"This is a first step towards changing how older people are portrayed and we intend to launch a new gallery of images later this year and also to build on this concept of an image bank into the future," he added.

This ‘How We Age’ gallery of selected images will be launched in October to mark International Day of Older Persons.