As the Age-Friendly Strategy for Greater Manchester is launched, the World Health Organisation has recognised Greater Manchester as the UK’s first age-friendly city region in the UK.
Greater Manchester’s GreaterSport has announced an investment of £1m to help older people get more active and a festival of ageing is planned for July 2018 at the launch of the Age-Friendly Strategy for Greater Manchester.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said:
To be recognised internationally for the plans we’ve put in place to improve the lives of older people is fantastic, but I want to make sure our policies and strategies translate into real changes for all of us as we age.
“This means providing ways for us all to stay healthy and active as we get older: ensuring our transport is accessible; making sure our plans for building new homes support age-friendly communities and neighbourhoods; and providing high-quality employment opportunities so that we are all able to stay in work for as long as we want or need.
“This summer Greater Manchester is holding a Festival of Ageing and I’ll be launching my Mayoral Challenge, asking people to put forward their ideas for making Greater Manchester a great place to grow old. I want people to think about what needs to happen to make sure we’re living – not just longer – but happier and healthier.”
To mark the achievement, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has launched his age-friendly strategy and joined GreaterSport to celebrate the securing of £1m funding from Sport England to encourage older people to be more physically and socially active.
The funding secured by GreaterSport from Sport England will be used to help people over the age of 55 become more active in their communities, socially and physically – for example by facilitating group walks, social events, confidence building, and training individuals to lead local group activities.
Matt Johnson, Deputy CEO from GreaterSport said:
We are delighted to announce this funding for Greater Manchester. Since launching Greater Manchester Moving in 2017 we have been working to identify opportunities to bring investment into Greater Manchester to enable us to get more people active. Working with the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub, the Health and Social Care partnership, Sport England and local partners, this age group has been identified as one of the key priorities.
“This programme is the first time that a physical activity programme has used the principles of involving people in their own communities in creating solutions to get more active and to improve their lives. The programme will involve a broad range of partners across Greater Manchester to test new ways to encourage people who have previously been inactive to become more active and make a difference to their everyday lives.”
Chris Perks, Executive Director Local Delivery, Sport England, said:
Being active is one the most important things people can do to maintain health and wellbeing as they age. That is why this investment to support active ageing in Greater Manchester is such an exciting development in the partnership between Sport England and Greater Manchester.
“By investing in a diverse range of projects, tackling issues such as poor mental health, dementia, loneliness caused by bereavement and life changing events – we are keen to learn how new approaches can help increase activity levels and make a lasting difference to the lives and communities of people over 55.
“This is a fantastic example of how a wide range of partners can work together to have the best impact on residents. We are looking forward to seeing the results this funding has on people in Greater Manchester.”
Greater Manchester’s status as the UK’s first age-friendly city-region comes as a result of the work that has been done so far by the Combined Authority’s Ageing Hub, which includes working with local authorities to develop their age-friendly plans; carrying out pilot research on worklessness and job insecurity amongst older people (with Centre for Ageing Better); and launching the ‘Take a Seat’ campaign across Greater Manchester to make it easier for older people to access local amenities.
View the Combined Authority’s Ageing Strategy and find out more about the Festival of Ageing