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The Latest
14 Apr 2020

Ambition for Ageing eBulletin April 2020

Welcome to the latest issue of our e-bulletin which contains all the latest updates from Ambition for Ageing and our partners, and other ageing related news and events.


Please feel free to forward this bulletin onto your colleagues, contacts and networks who can subscribe to receive their own copy by clicking here.


Ambition for Ageing (AfA)

What’s next for Ambition for Ageing?

As we enter an exciting new phase of Ambition for Ageing, moving from delivery to sharing our learning, we do so in a world different to the one we’d hoped. We hope you are keeping well given the circumstances and staying home as much you can.


As for the future of Ambition for Ageing, the team based at GMCVO will continue until March 2021 as we publish and promote a range of learning reports and guidance developed from the programme. We will also continue to work closely with the GM Ageing Hub based at the GMCA to ensure VCSE organisations have a voice in developing policy and strategy at the GM level.


Equalities Board supported by LGBT Foundation


What's next for the Equalities Board?


The Equalities Board (EB) has held its last meeting, and the team has said goodbye to Hannah Berry. Sarah Wilkinson and Clare Bonetree will be in post for six more months, working on integrating the EB into Greater Manchester Older People’s Network (GMOPN), drawing together learning from the EB’s work, and using this learning to promote equalities in future programmes. Right now they are focusing on supporting EB members through the coronavirus isolation period to stay engaged with equalities and ageing information until the GMOPN is meeting again.


New report: The Value of Small Community-Led Equalities Research


The Ambition for Ageing Equalities Board have launched a new report titled The Value of Small Community-Led Equalities Research evaluating their experience of microfunding five community-led equalities research projects as part of the Ageing Equally? research programme. The research reports by four BAME community organisations and one mental health user-led organisation will also be launched.


The evaluation report makes clear that:


  • Small community-based organisations bring valuable expertise as partners in equalities research programmes;
  • They can reach wider and further into marginalised communities;
  • They need practical support, and appropriate time and funding, to leverage their expertise;
  • They can spread the benefits of microfunding wider through their communities;
  • They benefit from a ‘test and learn’ approach that allows flexibility, creativity and risk-taking.


It contains detailed recommendations for VCSE, academic and other organisations interested in microfunding and working in partnership with small community organisations to research equalities issues.


It also contains recommendations for community organisations to make the most of the opportunities and challenges that come with microfunding for equalities research projects.


The evaluation report, the reports from the five community organisations, and simpler summaries of all reports, can be downloaded on our website. 


Read it online


GM Older People's Network (GMOPN) supported by Macc


An update from GMOPN


In light of the current outbreak of the coronavirus all GM Older People’s Network meetings and events have been postponed. They remain committed to ensuring that older people’s voices from across Greater Manchester are heard and to ensuring that they provide information for members. Here are a few things they are planning to do:


• Keep in touch by email, phone and post, including a weekly bulletin 
• Monitor the situation and share updates to members
• Share advice and support members in a positive way
• Looking at ways to help people keep physically active and occupied while at home
• Help make sure older people’s voices are heard during this time


Age Proud Photography competition


Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Age Proud Photography competition has been postponed until further notice. All entries that have already been submitted will still be valid when the competition is resumed at a later date.


Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA)


Upcoming seminars and events postponed


Due to the unforeseen and unprecedented challenge of the Coronavirus crisis, all MICRA events and seminars for the coming months have been postponed until further notice.


This includes the two seminars organised in partnership with Ambition for Ageing that were due to take place on Wednesday 20th May and Wednesday 17th June. We are hoping to reschedule these in the autumn.


Technology, Social Connections and Older People


Our researcher based at MICRA, Sophie Yarker, has conducted a brief literature review on the use of information and communication technologies to support social connections for older people. Her summary is below, or follow the link below for the full document. 


The response to COVID-19 has meant we have all been grappling with new ways of maintaining social contact whilst also observing social distancing and self-isolation guidance. A brief review of the academic literature on the role of digital technology for maintaining social connections for older people is patchy, with very little in the way of guidance around best practice. However, we have identified some guiding principles of engaging older people in using digital technologies which seem particularly salient given the current pandemic situation;


  • When introducing older people to new technology it is important that this is led by their needs. Being clear about how an app for example can benefit a particular aspect of their lives such as, keeping in touch with friends, can improve take up rates. 
  • Learning how to use new technologies can be greatly enhanced by peer support. Although digital technologies might be new to some there are many older people who are confident users and this could be embraced.
  • The use of digital technologies can bring a sense of empowerment to older people. As well as being the receivers of support and information they are also able to give it to others therefore there is the potential to develop reciprocal intergenerational and peer relationships here.


Of course, the realities of digital exclusion and risks posed by online fraud should not be overlooked, but there is still a lot that is already being done to make digital technologies a supportive part of everyday life for older people. More research however is clearly needed, particularly research that considers how diverse groups of older people engage with different types of technologies.


Read it online


Other News and Events


GMCVO Coronavirus (Covid-19) webpage


Our lead organisation GMCVO is collating intelligence about the Greater Manchester VCSE sector response to the crisis, what is happening to the sector and to the communities it connects into, in order to inform local and national policy and activity. We are also logging issues, concerns and queries and campaigning to ensure the needs of VCSE organisations are considered - both as businesses and employers, and as essential providers of help to people and communities.


In response to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, GMCVO have put together a dedicated web page which you can access below.


Click here


Support and resources for BAME Communities


Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisations (GMCVO) has provided information, sources of support and resources for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.


Click here


Greater Manchester Combined Authority dedicated Covid-19 webpage


Our partners, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), have a dedicated page to Covid-19 related news, press briefings, support and resources for individuals and business across GM.


Click here


In their most recent e-bulletin, the GM Ageing Hub included a list of contact details for support across Greater Manchester localities. Read it online using the link below.


Click here