Greater Manchester has recently celebrated its success in becoming one of the best places in the world to grow older. Across all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester, 53 neighbourhoods have been found to be “age friendly”.
The Age-Friendly Challenge, a project launched by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, in 2018 was the action behind the award. The Challenge helps local communities, public services and older people’s groups work together to foster a more age-friendly environment in their neighbourhood through a host of newly introduced community projects. 150 representatives from the successful 53 neighbourhoods were invited to an event at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester earlier this month to celebrate their achievements.
The project began in 2018 and in its first phase saw 32 neighbourhoods achieve age-friendly status. The second phase finished at the end of last year and a further 21 neighbourhoods were announced as age-friendly.
The project’s emphasis has been to encourage collaborative and collective action between public services, voluntary and community sectors and older people’s groups to improve the quality of life of older residents in neighbourhoods across Greater Manchester.
The project has allowed for the creation of new community projects such as the community garden and dungeon and dragons role playing group that were set up in the Salford neighbourhood of Brinnington or the opening of a weekly coffee morning, lunch and craft session in Wythenshawe. The project has focused on bringing residents in neighbourhoods closer together and has had great success in helping older members of the community who previously did not have much chance to interact with their fellow neighbours.
Some of the neighbourhoods to be recognised as age-friendly include Brinnington, Wythenshawe, Fallowfield, Rusholme, Gorton and many others across the region.
Commenting on the success of the Age-Friendly Challenge, 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.”