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Lord Mayors Charity

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The Lord Mayor, Councillor Susan Cooley has designated ‘Age Friendly Manchester’ as one of the focuses of the We Love MCR Charity during her year of office and invites funding applications from groups and organisations that support this theme.

Age-friendly Manchester is about improving the quality of life for older people in the city and the Age-Friendly Manchester Team works with a range of older people, groups and organisations to do this.

Examples of their work include:

•Helping make neighbourhoods better places for older people.

•Helping the Council listen to and involve older people in decision making and helping to improve services for them.

•Supporting the Cultural Champions programme, the Older Peoples Forum and age-friendly networks.

We Love MCR will also be supporting the following project themes for 2015:

The objective will be to find new and current Manchester projects and give them increased exposure, alongside multi platforms to help raise the funds needed to accomplish their goals.

Funding applications that support all of these themes, as well as all other projects looking for funding in Manchester, are invited.

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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