The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Claire Keatinge, congratulated Bangor artist Alex Boden Bell and presented him with a framed print after his design was selected and featured on the Commissioner's Christmas card for 2014.

A member of Holywood and Bangor U3A organisations, Mr Bell was one of many people who responded to the Commissioner's call for older artists across Northern Ireland to submit designs for her annual Christmas card. The presentation took place at the monthly Holywood U3A meeting where the Commissioner spoke of the of positive contribution that older people across Northern Ireland make, which she said will amount to almost £25 billion over the next 50 years through volunteering, caring, childcare, replacement parenting and working.

Speaking at the presentation of Mr Boden Bell's design 'Happy Older Snowpeople', the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Claire Keatinge said:

"Art can be enjoyed at any age and the U3A give hundreds of older people across Northern Ireland the opportunity to develop their skills through regular classes and workshops. Alex's winning design was sent out as a Christmas card to people across Northern Ireland, including all our politicians as well as to groups and individuals with whom I have engaged with over the past three years, and serves to highlight the talent and creativity of local older people in Northern Ireland.

"Many excellent pieces were submitted and the decision to choose just one was difficult. I would like to thank all those who took the time to send in a design, and to congratulate Alex Boden Bell on his beautiful piece of art."

The Commissioner also took time to praise the work of the local U3A and said:

"The U3A movement is an excellent example of how older people make a positive contribution to society, as an organisation run by older volunteers, engaging older people who enjoy learning and who continue to challenge themselves to learn and develop as individuals long after they reach 60."