Latest news from the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub
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This month the Ageing Hub hosted an inquiry visit on intergenerational connection from Chuka Umunna MP and All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Integration. Chuka was impressed by the huge amount going on in Greater Manchester and met with Mayor Andy Burnham and representatives of the Youth Combined Authority and GM Older People's Network. We also introduced him to the work at the Manchester School of Architecture on creating an age friendly Greater Manchester through planning and architecture driven by community involvement.

Chuka Umunna MP, Mayor Andy Burnham and Cllr Rishi Shori meeting representatives of the GM Older People's Network and Youth Combined Authority.
We also welcomed a team working towards making Blackburn with Darwin age friendly, sharing learning from Greater Manchester. Ambition for Ageing held a workshop on age friendly communities in practice which brought together around a hundred people from all ten boroughs to share good practice.

And just around the corner in July we're looking forward to the Greater Manchester Festival of Ageing, the British Society of Gerontology conference, and a meeting we are hosting of thirty-two European cities on developing regional age-friendly plans. We do hope you'll be able to get involved in the Festival of Ageing which will be a celebration of positive and diverse images of ageing across our city region. The main festival launch will be an event on Monday 2 July across Manchester City Art Gallery, Central Library and Albert Square. They'll also be festival launch events in Bolton, Bury, Wigan, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford and Tameside, with a festival finale talent show on 15 July at Manchester's Midland Hotel.  

Thanks for your support,

Paul McGarry
Head, Greater Manchester Ageing Hub

The deadline for the next newsletter is 18 July, please send your copy to

Update: Greater Manchester Festival of Ageing

We are delighted to report that there are now over 200 events taking place across the Festival of Ageing fortnight (2 to 15 July) across GM and numbers are still rising. The Festival of Ageing 2018 will take place across Greater Manchester 2 - 15 July 2018 and will be a celebration of positive and diverse images of ageing.To see the updated online programme, click here

People aged 50 and over across GM are being urged to sign up for their free wristband to attend any or all of the celebrations – if you haven’t got yours, please register right now by clicking here

The festival fortnight will kick off with a launch event on Monday 2 July 12 noon - 4 pm across Manchester City Art Gallery, Central Library and Albert Square. Zoned activities will offer taster sessions, exhibitions, activities and information of all the great things on offer around GM. Highlights include a climbing wall, ‘Silver Swans’ ballet taster session, middle eastern dance, interactive Desert Island Discs, arts and crafts, walking football tasters and tournament, line dancing, seated Tai chi, and musical performances throughout the day.

More information: or phone 0161 230 1438                              

Age friendly communities in practice

On 11 June almost a hundred people came together for a day of constructive interactive collaboration and planning organised by Ambition for Ageing under the theme of 'Age Friendly Communities in Practice.’

Tables representing the ten Greater Manchester boroughs shared their thinking on best practice examples of age friendliness in action. Delegates were then invited to vote not only for their region’s best ideas, but also for their top three favourites out of the entire room.

In between table working sessions, presentations were given by Pam Smith (CEO Stockport Council and GM Lead for Ageing), Chris Phillipson (Professor of Sociology & Social Gerontology at MICRA), Mark Hammond (Research Associate at Manchester School of Architecture), Nicola Shore (Engagement and Wellbeing Service Manager at Age UK Oldham), John Hannen (Programme Manager for Ambition for Ageing) and Paul McGarry (Head of GM Ageing Hub).

Findings from the day and next steps will be announced shortly.                      

Stockport pen pal project connections generations

The Stockport Pen Pal project has bridged the gap between Janet Coxon, 97, and a Year 7 student from Stockport School, as part of a campaign to bridge the gap between teenagers and the older generation in Stockport. 

Home Instead Senior Care in Stockport and Tameside teamed up with Stockport School to launch an intergenerational project in order to connect local youngsters and the elderly who live in the community. The project saw students in Year 7 write letters to clients from Home Instead Senior Care. In return, the clients wrote letters back to the students with the help of their caregivers.

Janet was a flight sergeant in the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) during the Second World War. In 1940 she moved to Bramhall and in 1965 moved to her current home in Mile End, just down the road from Stockport School where her son, Ian, attended as a youngster in the late 60s and 70s.

David Moore, owner of Home Instead Stockport and Tameside commented: 'We are delighted with the success of the pen pal project so far. As we care for older people in their own homes, our care givers often hear all about the stories of their clients’ past. Many of them have fascinating backgrounds, and we thought it would be great for them to share some of their past experiences with young people in the community.”

Matt Williamson from Stockport School said, The boys involved in the pen pal project have really enjoyed the process. They each wrote a thoughtful letter and shared insights about what it’s like being a teenager in this day and age. We all really enjoyed meeting Janet and her son Ian, when they came to the School to deliver her letter to her pen pal. We are looking forward to writing the next set of letters!”

Community media for Greater Manchester: An Ambition for Connected Later Life

A new report from Social Spider looks at how community media works and explores the potential for harnessing its power to reach and benefit over 50s across Greater Manchester. Commissioned by Ambition for Ageing, the Big Lottery funded programme to create age-friendly neighbourhoods, the report outlines examples of effective community media campaigns currently taking place elsewhere, and considers why what works now is working so well.

Community media is usually produced by the community with the aim of responding to that community's needs, concerns and interest. The report explores the different channels and approaches that might be developed in future, as well as the ways in which community media could fundamentally influence the circumstances that typically result in older people feeling socially isolated.

Report: Community media for Greater Manchester: An Ambition for Connected Later Life

Ambition for Ageing volunteer recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

Congratulations to Ruxmani Patel from Ambition for Ageing Bolton who was awarded a British Empire Medal for her charitable and voluntary services to the community. Mrs Patel, 67, who volunteers with Ambition for Ageing has been working in the Bolton community for 30 years, also supporting Bolton Hospital and Bolton Hospice.                                  

Event: EU Falls Festival 2018

The University of Manchester

2 - 3 July 2018

The European Union Falls Festival (EUFF) brings together leading researchers, clinicians, health care practitioners and industry from across the globe for discussion and exchange of the most cutting edge knowledge, insights, issues and ideas in relation to the prediction, prevention and detection of falls. 
With key note speakers representing the Centre for Disease Control (China) NHS England, Public Health England as well as leading healthcare practitioners and internationally renowned scientists and researchers from across the world.  The 2 day programme can be viewed online where you will see key note addresses are complemented by plenary discussions, seminars and workshops and a ‘living lab’. 

Further information and online booking

Event: Loneliness in later life: social problems, public health problem, or moral panic?

Annual public lecture from MICRA at The University of Manchester

Monday 2 July 2018, 5.30 - 7.00 pm

St Peters House/ Chaplaincy, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9GH

Book your place online


  • Prof Christina Victor, Brunel University
The established representation of loneliness in the UK was as a social problem of old age: a characterisation that can be traced back to the surveys of older people conducted in the immediate post war period by Sheldon and developed by Townsend and Tunstall. This lecture will explore how and why loneliness has been transformed from a social problem of old age to a public health problem with health consequences worse than smoking to a moral panic whereby loneliness among older people generates ‘excess’ service use that threatens the very future of the NHS. This lecture has the ambition to challenge this now established corpus of received wisdom and cast a more creative and critical gaze on the topic of loneliness in later life with the aim of generating fresh thinking.

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 four 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
  • Age Friendly Places Working Group
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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Greater Manchester Combined Authority
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Greater Manchester Ageing Hub · GMCA, Churchgate House · 56 Oxford Street · Manchester, M1 6EU · United Kingdom

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