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Greater Manchester becomes UK's first age-friendly city region

19 Mar 2018 - 10:03 by michelle.foster

The World Health Organization has recognised Greater Manchester as the UK’s first age-friendly city region. To mark the achievement, on 16 March 18 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.

Together the region will:
• Establish age-friendly communities across GM, promoting volunteering and bringing generations together
• Become a world leader in research and innovation for an ageing society
• Increase housing choice to promote social connections and wellbeing in later life
• Create opportunities to maximise skills and experience of older workers
• Build a health and social care system that works for older people
• Show leadership in developing age-friendly initiative at all levels and across all sectors
• Create a transport network that supports older people to stay connected and active
• Engage and involve older people in arts and cultural activities across GM and establish a Centre for age-friendly Culture – a world 1st
• Support more people to be physically active as they age
• Make sure access to entitlements and benefits is easier and simpler
• Develop an age-friendly plan for each local authority council
• Campaign for positive change in the way older people are viewed

An implementation plan for delivering the strategy will be published in the next few months.

Greater Manchester’s Festival of Ageing has been commissioned by Ambition for Ageing (funded by The Big Lottery Fund), and will take place 2-15 July 2018. The celebratory event will portray a more positive view of ageing, as well as encouraging policy-makers to take the action needed to improve the lives of Greater Manchester’s 907,000 older people – a figure set to rise to 1.1 million in the next twenty years.

The aim is to improve the lives of people aged 50 and over living in Greater Manchester. The vision is that older residents are able to contribute to and benefit from sustained prosperity and enjoy a good quality of life. Working with partners a Greater Manchester Ageing Hub has been set up to coordinate a strategic response to the opportunities and challenges of an ageing population.

Greater Manchester Ageing Hub's priorities are:
• to become the first age-friendly city region in the country
• to be a global centre of excellence for ageing, pioneering research, technology and new ideas
• to increase economic participation amongst the over 50s

The Ageing Hub are co-ordinating programmes of activity around economy and work; age-friendly places; healthy ageing; housing, planning and transport; culture and learning; and communications. An age-friendly model will be established as a framework for ensuring social inclusion in later life across Greater Manchester, with an emphasis on co-design with older people and improving the quality of later life in GM.

Outputs will include a GM strategy to increase levels of physical activity amongst people in mid and later life, creating an age-friendly GM transport plan and producing an age-friendly GM Spatial Framework which promotes social diversity and a mix of generations wherever possible. There is a partnership with the Centre for Ageing Better to drive improvements in Greater Manchester by applying evidence around what works to ensure a good later life.

For further information, visit: www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/agefriendlyGM

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