Latest news from the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub
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This month, the Ageing Hub has been back to the Greater Manchester Reform Board to give an update on our work to Mayor Andy Burnham and public service leaders from across the city-region. It was great to be able to share some of the highlights of our programme over the past few months, including becoming the UK's first age-friendly city region, the launch of the GM age-friendly strategy and the announcement of £1M Sport England investment to raise physical activity rates for older people.

We were also able to report on a successful bid to the EU for a European cities research collaboration working with Amsterdam, Barcelona, Oslo and others. Greater Manchester led the bid to the ESPON 2020 Cooperation Programme which will fund a multi-method investigation into the effectiveness of policies to develop age-friendly cities and city-regions.

Another new research initiative is underway with the Manchester School of Architecture to identify how to meet the housing needs of an ageing population. Made possible through a grant from the Centre for Ageing Better, through this work being carried out by Dr Mark Hammond at Manchester Metropolitan University we will better understand where older people are living at a local level, which will help inform what housing an ageing population might need in future (full press release).

Paul McGarry
Head, Greater Manchester Ageing Hub

The deadline for the next newsletter is 15 May, please send your copy to

New model of care for Wigan

Wigan Borough Council are offering new model of care in partnership with person-centred pioneer Helen Sanderson and Making Space Health and Social Care Services. Wigan have taken Helen’s developing care initiative ‘Wellbeing Teams’ under their wing, a model inspired by the pioneering work of Buurtzorg nurses in the Netherlands. The joint venture came about as a result of discussions with the commissioner at Wigan Council about the challenges and possibilities of delivering care services in their local area. Now available to older people living in Ashton and Wigan, Wellbeing Teams are:

  • Small teams of no more than a few people
  • Self-organising, with everyone trained and supported to do their jobs well
  • Values-led at every step, from recruitment to service delivery
  • Led by coproduction by putting the people we support in control of their services
  • Focused on wellbeing by both the people we support and team members

More about Wellbeing Teams
More about new model of care for Wigan

Bolton care homes focus on age-friendly

March's Care Homes Excellence Event in Bolton saw a focus on age-friendly and active ageing. The training, development and networking event for care home managers included a presentation on creating age-friendly environments in care homes from Age UK Bolton Falls Prevention Coordinator Helen Darlington. 

Attendees were encouraged to think more broadly about later life, with a series of interactive sessions included Tai Chi with music. Optical awareness training was offered to help staff understand common eye conditions and how they might affect people in later life. The day ended with care homes making pledges to support older people to be more physically active.

More information: Helen Darlington 01204382411  Bolton Care Home Excellence programme 

Stockport launches SMILE

Borough Care in Stockport has launched new fitness programme for residents and staff called SMILE: Simple Movements Improve Life Every day. SMILE is a new low impact and gentle exercise concept developed by our partners, Life Leisure, to provide a fun and engaging way to deliver adaptable exercise for older people.

Thanks to funding from Comic Relief, Borough Care have been able to make a two-year commitment to the programme. Valerie Egan, Interim Head of Care, said: “This kind of regular activity is proven to help reduce the risk of falls, as residents become stronger and more confident when mobilising, giving them back more independence. But SMILE also delivers on its name; lots of laughs and big grins as residents sang, moved and socialised in a lively environment.

“We’ll be monitoring those who participate before, during and after the SMILE sessions, so we can really demonstrate the positive effects and make this programme an integral part of Borough Care’s activities.”

Staff will now begin their training with Life Leisure’s SMILE team, so they can begin to deliver SMILE in their own homes on a regular basis. First up will be Bryn Haven, Reinbek and Silverdale.

“Once we’ve got SMILE running in our homes we’ll also be promoting the sessions to the wider community, so anyone over 65 can come and join in!” added Valerie.

For information about SMILE sessions available throughout Stockport see the Life Leisure website

Blog: Choosing a positive future for ageing

Sara McKee's blog for the Royal Society of Art is the first in a series responding to the RSA's work on reimagining the care home as part of the Health as a Social Movement Programme. In this blog she argues that older age is still a time of growth and opportunity, and that there is a movement toward living options for older people beyond the institutional setting.

Sara is the founder of Evermore, a Greater Manchester based company developing small household living options for older people.

Full blog

Course: Building a healthy future in later life

From Manchester Mind

Wednesday 2 May 2018, 1.00 - 3.30 and 7 weeks until 6 June

Northenden, Manchester

The course is aimed at anyone in Greater Manchester over 55 – retired or not – teaching tools and techniques to improve psychological wellbeing now, and in the future, and including relaxation and stress management techniques as well as lots of lively discussion and interaction. This is our final community course for a while, so don’t hesitate, and sign up today!

Places are free, but people do need to register by contacting Ruth Rosselson, Manchester Mind: 07527 127 786.

Event: Best Friends Forever? Friendships in older age and hidden social isolation

From Ambition for Ageing and MICRA at the University of Manchester

Wednesday 16 May 2018, 1.30 - 4.30

St Thomas Centre, Ardwick Green North, Manchester M12 6FZ


  • Dr Kingsley Purdam, Social Statistics, University of Manchester
  • Natalie Cotterell, Sociology, University of Manchester

Book your place online

This session will involving the sharing of ongoing research undertaken at the University of Manchester by Natalie Cotterell and Kingsley Purdam. It will look at how social isolation is measured and how we can better understand its impact on peoples' lives. This will include the role friends have played in our lives, how we make new friends and how we deal with the loss of friends as we get older. There will be a chance to share your memories, thoughts, ideas and tips about friendships and how to tackle social isolation in later life.

Event: Creative Adventures in Dementia - A Life More Ordinary Festival

From The Dukes in Lancaster

17 & 18 May 2018

The Dukes, Moor Lane, Lancaster LA1 1QE

Book your place online (fee)

A unique 2 day exploration of how the arts are touching the lives of people living with dementia in wonderful and remarkable ways.

‘A Life More Ordinary’ at The Dukes in Lancaster, invites people living with dementia, family  friends, health and care professionals, artists, researchers and, clinical commissioning teams, to share and discover some of the ground-breaking ways that the arts help us understand dementia better and play an invaluable part in how we journey through life together.

This event will include keynote speakers, performances and workshops by some of the most pioneering artists, practitioners, researchers and extraordinary people, working with people with dementia, in a variety of settings and in unique ways.

Please join us to explore, share and discover how the arts are revealing new ways of entering the world of people living with dementia and helping them to continue enjoying, richer fuller lives.

More information

Event: The NHS at 70 - Time for an age-friendly health and social care system

From GM Older People's Network

Thursday 24 May 2018, 10 - 3.30

Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS


  • Warren Heppolette, Executive Lead, GM Health and Social Care Partnership
  • Professor Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia and Older People’s Mental Health, NHS England

Book your place online

The event will bring together older people, organisational representatives and policy and strategy leads across Greater Manchester to think about the positive examples and challenges for older people within our health and social services.  We will ask how services might need to think differently about older people in order to engage with them in a way designed to meet their real priorities and needs around health and wellbeing. The event will be an opportunity to hear about what maintaining health and wellbeing means for a range of older people and the different support that is available across Greater Manchester. 

The event is free and lunch will be provided. Places are limited and priority will be given to older people and those supporting older people to attend. For further information or to request leaflets or posters to advertise this event to older people in Greater Manchester please email Liz Jones or call 0161 834 9823.

More information

Event: Age, Health and Professional Drivers

Seminar from MICRA at The University of Manchester

Thursday 7 June 2018, 2.00 - 4.00 pm

G306B Jean McFarlane Building, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL

Book your place online


  • Dr Sheena Johnson, Organisational Psychology. Alliance Manchester Business School
  • Paul McGarry, Head, Greater Manchester Ageing Hub
  • Dr Ricardo Twumasi, Organisational Psychology, Alliance Manchester Business School
The transport and logistics sector in the UK is experiencing a rise in their workforce average age. The work that professional drivers do can be detrimental to health, and health and safety performance in the sector is worse than average. This research, conducted by the University of Manchester and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), provides knowledge of the changing world of work and associated health impacts, as drivers work into older age.
Data collection involving professional drivers and their managers investigates the impact of working to an older age on driver health and wellbeing. 

The research project will build and develop a network of transport sector firms, unions and industry representatives. This network, entitled ‘Age, Health and Professional Drivers’, will produce and disseminate industry led best practice guidelines relating to age and wellbeing.

Report: Occupational health and extended working lives in the transport sector

About us

The Greater Manchester Ageing Hub has been set up by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) so GM partners can coordinate a strategic response to the opportunities and challenges of an ageing population. Our three key goals are:
  • Greater Manchester will become the first age-friendly city region in the UK
  • Greater Manchester will be a global centre of excellence for ageing, pioneering new research, technology and solutions across the whole range of ageing issues
  • Greater Manchester will increase economic participation amongst the over 50s
Partners include:
  • Ten Greater Manchester councils
  • Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership
  • Age UKs in Greater Manchester
  • Public Health England
  • Greater Manchester Academic Health Science Network
  • MICRA at the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Salford
  • Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO)
  • Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service
  • Greater Manchester Housing Providers Group
  • Centre for Ageing Better
  • Health Innovation Manchester
Ageing is part of the GMCA Equalities, Fairness and Inclusion Portfolio led by Cllr Jean Stretton, Leader of Oldham Council. A series of working groups report into the Ageing Hub Steering Group which meets three times a year and is chaired by Pam Smith, Chief Executive of Stockport Council. Working groups include:
  • Research Advisory Group
  • Economy and Work Group
  • Culture Group
  • Housing and Planning Group
  • EU Active and Healthy Ageing Reference Site Group
  • Greater Sport/ Physical Activity Group
  • GM Age Friendly Design Guide 
  • Ambition for Ageing
Paul McGarry, Head, GM Ageing Hub, GMCA
Jo Garsden, Programme Manager, GM Ageing Hub, GMCA
Gareth Williams, Strategy Team, GMCA
Esme Ward, Culture Lead, The Whitworth and Manchester Museum
Prof Stefan White, Manchester Metropolitan University
Louise Robbins, Greater Sport
Sophie Black, Manchester City Council
John Hannen, Ambition for Ageing, GMCVO
Kirsty Bagnall, Ambition for Ageing, GMCVO
Lynda McIntosh, University of Manchester
Dr Mark Hammond, Manchester Metropolitan University

Academic advisor: Professor Chris Philipson, MICRA, University of Manchester
Associate member: Dr Sophie Handler
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