Greater Manchester celebrates work making city-region one of the best places in the world to grow older
Greater Manchester is celebrating the success of its age-friendly neighbourhoods in making the city-region one of the best places in the world to grow older.
On 6th February 2020, Ambition for Ageing and the GM Ageing Hub hosted the Mayoral Age-Friendly Challenge winners event in Manchester, with Cllr Jude Wells, Deputy Portfolio Lead for Age-Friendly Greater Manchester, kindly leading proceedings. 153 representatives from the 53 neighbourhoods gathered at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester with the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, to celebrate all of the success they have had.
The winners took the opportunity to share the work they are doing, learn from each other and to look at to start to look at how the age-friendly neighbourhoods can network in the future, allowing them collaborate and communicate with each other even better.
In 2018 the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham launched his Age-Friendly Challenge. The challenge recognises the hard work of organisations and older people and finds examples of what being age-friendly actually means, while sharing best practice.
Since then, 53 neighbourhoods, across all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester, have been recognised as age-friendly.
The Age-Friendly Challenge is open to the voluntary and community sector, public services, and older people's groups working collectively to make their community and neighbourhood more age-friendly. This could include offering community activities and initiatives led by older people, improving older people’s quality of life, and celebrating age-friendly employers.
The first phase for applications was held in 2018 when 32 neighbourhoods achieved age-friendly status. A second round then ran at the end of last year and 21 were recognised as age-friendly.
Successful neighbourhoods have demonstrated there is coordination of agefriendly activity, partnership working across sectors with a wide range of organisations involved, community leadership and a basic understanding of equalities.
New neighbourhoods to be named age-friendly include Brinnington, where activities include a Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying well-being group, a community garden project and an armed forces breakfast club.
Wythenshawe has also received age-friendly status, with a variety of non-funded community initiatives, funded groups, churches and non-faith groups involved in providing activities for older people.
Wythenshawe Good Neighbours is just one of the initiatives taking place in the area, a group which holds activities including a weekly coffee morning, lunch and craft sessions, a community breakfast on a Saturday where the emphasis is on engaging with veterans, and hot lunch and craft sessions.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “All of our age-friendly challenge winners should be proud of the incredible work they are doing to make Greater Manchester a great place to grow older.
“In March 2018 we were recognised by the World Health Organization as the UK’s First Age-Friendly city-region and it is great to have the opportunity to celebrate just some of the many ways our communities made this possible. Our older people are a huge asset to our city-region and have so much to give and these awards really highlight that.
“So much is going on already across Greater Manchester but what is even more exciting is this is just the beginning of us working together to make Greater Manchester an even better place for older people to live.
“A huge congratulations to all the winners for achieving age-friendly status and for all their efforts.”
Age-Friendly Greater Manchester and Equalities Lead Cllr Brenda Warrington said: “All of our winners are the shining lights of age-friendliness in Greater Manchester. The challenge aims to showcase the very best practice and thinking from the voluntary sector, public services and older people’s groups and that is what these neighbourhoods do.
We are all growing older, so being age-friendly is in the interest of everyone across the city-region. We can’t rest on our laurels and that is why we are all working hard across all areas – housing, the economy and work, culture, health and transport - to ensure Greater Manchester is truly age friendly and to make the city-region a great place for all of us to grow older.”
“Congratulations once again to all of our winners.”