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There have been reports of older people being bullied here in Manchester. Bullying is hate crime and should be stopped where ever it occurs . here’s a piece which may help us all to defeat bullying :

Kick out Bullying

Most of us recognise the word bully as something that happens to us at school in our childhood days. This, however is not always correct. As a rule those that start out their career as a school bully carry their actions out later in life. We have two new phrases that reflect the activities of an adult bully. These are:

  1. Harassment
  2. Hate Crime

What is a bully? A bully is someone who picks on another person who is vulnerable. The bully feeds from that persons fear. The fear becomes the bully’s blood. They drain it until it’s gone. Sometimes this is known as a “Psychic Vampire. Someone who feeds from emotions and uses that as their strength. Nelson Mandela said “Know your enemies weakness and make that your strength”. A bully’s weakness is your ability to say “Stop or No” Once that is realised by them that becomes YOUR strength and so you have reversed the situation. It is not always so easy to turn around the situation. Do not be afraid to ask for help from someone you trust. A close friend or family member. Someone who you hold in high regard in the community a priest or maybe a teacher. Your landlord or social worker can all be good points of contact.

Today, we have laws that help capture the bully. These are known as Harassment or Hate Crime. Harassment is described as unwanted attention on one or more occasions by the same person. That unwanted attention can be anything that you find offensive or unsettles you. You have the right to report this to the police. To help collect evidence the best thing to do is keep a written diary that could be used in court do not rely on your memory. See it, hear it write it down. Try and get the events witnessed by someone else.

Next there is Hate Crime. This means that you are targeted by the attacker because of your age, race, sexual gender, disability and some other minority groups. Again if you feel threatened by offensive gestures or remarks you have the legal right to inform the police.

You do not have to sit in silence any more. You do not have to sit in pain. You can kick the attacker where it hurts. Get your voice heard let the police or relevant authority (your landlord, social worker) know what is happening. Kick this stuff out of our society. It is not needed. It is not necessary. We can beat this together.

© Ian Sawyer February 2015



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Today, I have received several calls about a current scam which appears to be targeting older residents in north Manchester. We have come across this scam before. The company have now been identified by the police. They offer to check that your property is in the correct council tax band and suggest that you may be owed thousands of pounds.  They charge about £170 for this service. Some members were called by a man and others by a lady.
If you are worried that your property may be in the wrong council tax band, you can find out free you do not need to pay a company for the information.
J and L (Homewatch Members) called this evening to say that several residents have called the police about this problem. I have also attached below an e mail from one of our scheme coordinators.
Please tell all your members about this scam to prevent them becoming a victim.
Many thanks
J (Homewatch Coordinator)
Hi J,
one of the members of my scheme drew my attention to an attempt to scam her into entering an agreement to meet with a man who would get her  ‘thousands’ of pounds from the council by getting her a reduced Band.  She had the sense to contact the Police when she made the appointment last Friday, for today, Tuesday 10th at 12.00hrs.She also told me about it and I said I would be there in case the Police got tied up Anyway the Police arrived just before 1200 hrs and I spoke to a young PC called Mike. he hid the Police car out of sight, but the man never showed up. Later  today J and L called to tell me that they had the name of the people who had contacted my neighbour and also to tell me that the Police were aware of another six at least in New Moston and were going to attempt to intercept this man who was making these calls.


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Does anyone remember these?    those were the days when the bin men hoisted your metal dustbin on their backs and emptied  it into one of the 8 or so openings . no coloured bins, no problem if the bins where overflowing. they’d collect everything and anything,  Of course a lot of the contents would be ashes from the fireplace .  I wonder if the wagons ever cought fire from hot ashes?

Here’s some great news for Manchester !

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 Manchester_Town_Hall_from_Lloyd_StFifteen areas in England today share in £82 million from the Big Lottery Fund to reduce the social isolation of up to 200,000 older people, including £15, 326,869 for two projects in the North West. The money is being awarded through the Fund’s Ageing Better programme. The funding will also help pave the way for support for future older generations.

The consequences of social isolation are poor physical and mental health for individuals, less active citizens and a need for more costly services. The Fund wants to help tackle this and over the six years of the £82 million Ageing Better investment, partnerships in the fifteen areas will test what methods work and what don’t, so that successful approaches can be replicated across the country.

More people are at risk of becoming isolated as the population of older people grows, lacking contact with family or friends, community involvement or access to services. The Big Lottery Fund wants older people to be happier, healthier and more active, contributing even more to their communities.

Benefitting from today’s awards, Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO) is awarded £10,222,679 for Ambition for Ageing, a project that will place older people at its centre, ensuring their contribution to civic, cultural and economic life is maximised and fully recognised across Greater Manchester. 

Ambition for Ageing will initially work with 24 local neighbourhoods in the districts of Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Tameside and Wigan where older people will be supported by the project to research, identify and invest in local assets based on their needs and priorities. It will also enable older people to identify new activities that the project can support to help strengthen local networks and prevent isolation in their communities.

The project will harvest vital learning from the decisions and investments older people have made locally to create larger, broader programmes, helping a range of local partners in the public sector, voluntary sector and in business learn directly from older people in order to make a wider range of services and activities more age friendly.

GMCVO Chair Stephen Little said: “This is an exciting project which will really put older people in the driving seat. It will give valuable lessons from older people about ways to address ageing and social isolation in Greater Manchester to a partnership between voluntary organisations, the NHS, local Councils and a world class research centre.”

While a partnership led by Age UK Cheshire is awarded £5,104,190 for Brightlife, a project to develop and encourage wider community support and better neighbourhood connections that will benefit up to 6,400 older people across Cheshire West and Chester.

Striving to make a real and positive change in the culture around attitudes to later life   Brightlife will design practical and proven measures that will combat loneliness and isolation for vulnerable older people.

Working in partnership with a range of local agencies from across the voluntary, public and private sectors, Brightlife will develop a range of innovative services, such as the creation of a social pharmacy, where older people will be prescribed a social script to enable them to access a wide range of person centred sociable services. The script will complement any medical care and prevent the need for expensive NHS services. It will also increase choice so that older people can be given tailored support for their particular needs.

The project will also create community hubs linking older people in primary care, and their carers, with non-medical sources of support, and develop best practice toolkits’ to provide systems of support for those with particular needs, such as older people with dementia.

Recognising the enormous contribution older people can bring to their local communities Brightlife will also increase volunteering and active citizenship for older residents through the Skillshare initiative which will link skills and local businesses resources with the third sector.

Ken Clemens CEO Age UK Cheshire said: “The announcement of our successful application to the Big Lottery Fund’s Ageing Better programme is wonderful news. Age UK Cheshire is absolutely thrilled at the prospect of leading such a strong and diverse local partnership across all sectors within Cheshire West and Chester in the next steps of this exciting programme. All partners are committed to working alongside our older population to identify, design and implement a wide range of innovative solutions in addressing loneliness and isolation. We are looking to generate a local grass roots movement with our Brightlife Programme.”

Nat Sloane, Big Lottery Fund England Chair, said: “Recent research shows that one million people over 65 are lonely. Social isolation is bad for health with links to chronic conditions and increased mortality. With more people living well into their eighties, pressures on local services and budgets will continue to rise.

“There are concerns about a ticking time bomb facing adult social care, but older people have a wealth of experience and skills to offer their communities. We need to tap into this – to help them help themselves and others living alone. Our Ageing Better investment will put them at the heart of the way the projects are designed and delivered to ensure that older people living longer also live well.”

Throughout the Ageing Better investment, evidence will be produced to show the social and economic impact of a range of approaches. Ecorys, working with the Brunel Institute for Ageing Studies at Brunel University and Bryson Purdon Social research, will measure the impact of the funding and share successes and lessons learnt so projects deliver sustainable improvements


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As a founder member, I would like to welcome all seniors (shall we say, over 50’s ?) not only from our great AGE FRIENDLY CITY of MANCHESTER, UK,(More usually called AFM)but from all around the world, to our Age Friendly City blog-site.

We hope to provide a platform for information and advice on AGE FRIENDLINESS  both within our city and outside it.

Age friendly Manchester is  lucky to have the full support of the city council and our current Lord Mayor, Councillor Sue Cooley . Councillor Cooley’s theme for her year as Lord Mayor is Age Friendly Manchester (AFM). This will allow her to highlight and celebrate the contribution older residents make to the city by working with communities, organisations and individuals to create a city that older people are happy to grow old in.

The City has an AFM older Peoples Board, and as a member I have travelled not only within the UK, but to  Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain and with other board members to Helsinki Finland to promote  age friendly cities and and to learn from them how they are promoting age friendly communities.

With Christmas around the corner, we are hoping to start populating this blog in late January 2015, so please come and check us out then.


Until then A Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to you all

Norman Hesketh-Hart





The World Health Organization defines an AGE FRIENDLY CITY through eight separate

but interrelated ‘domains’: outdoor spaces and buildings, housing, transportation, social

participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication

and information, and community and health services.

Age-friendly Manchester (AFM) builds on the Valuing Older People (VOP) programme, which

was launched in 2003, and the ten-year Manchester Ageing Strategy published in 2009. The

AFM development plan sets out how the city will develop its expertise, infrastructure and

capacity to create an age-friendly city.


The Age-friendly Manchester Older People’s Board (formerly known as the Valuing Older People Board) is made up of older people (50+) who are residents of Manchester. They meet every 6 weeks, are constituted and have a variety of working groups looking at issues including Transport and Loneliness and Isolation. They work with the AFM Team, who are Council Officers.

The Board is active in consultation and engagement within the city and get involved in range of issues such as budget consultations, changes to Council services and national campaigns. The Board produces an annual report which profiles their work.