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.


ZEST Heathfield Hall, Heathfield Street, Newton Heath, M40 1LF

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Heathfield Hall, Heathfield Street, Newton Heath, M40 1LF is the home of ZEST an organisation that offers a varied selection of activities for over 50’s.

just one is detailed below:

Front Row

1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month

12 – 3pm

Social activity aimed at reducing isolation.

Latest release DVD’s in a local area, no

need to go to town. Light lunch provided.

Cost £1.50 towards refreshments. This is

a large group but there is room for more

members, currently around 20 people

meet each fortnight to enjoy films.

Contact: Laura Cassidy on 234 3724 or email

old picc gndsPICCADILLY GARDENS  1950

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

Age Friendly Manchester’s BIG DAY OUT

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The Harpurhey, Moston and New Moston AF Network are embarking upon a very ambitious project which supports one of the Networks key objectives, to reduce loneliness and isolation amongst older people. The project currently has a working title of the Big Day Out or as I sometimes call it The “Real” Grand Day Out.

The project involves the organisation of “mass days out”, involving older people from across north Manchester. We anticipate being able to fill 3 – 5 coaches for our first outing and aim to sustain numbers as the group attracts new members. We used the Winter Warm events to test the idea and over 80 people have already signed up – many reporting that they couldn’t remember the last time they went on an organised trip out. Some remembered Sheltered Scheme Managers organising trips but this now happens on fewer occasions. Those not living in supported accommodation appear to be missing entirely, especially if they are not engaged in social groups. We envisage the first outing taking place in Spring and have already had an offer from the Lord Mayor of Manchester to wave off the coaches. We are also hopeful that for the launch outing we can set off with police out-riders and a tooting fire engine. 

Contact either myself, on, or Tracy Annette on  if your interested in a great day out with us, and we’ll get in touch with details.

vintage coach 001 vintage coach 002

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These coaches may bring back memories. But our trips will probably use bright new ones



Now thats different !

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When it was built, Concorde changed the face of aviation forever. No longer would passengers have to travel slowly – you could be in New York in around three hours, travelling faster than the speed of sound, and in perfect comfort.

On November 29, 1952, all that became possible when an agreement was signed in London between the UK and France.

Julian Amery, Minister of Supply, and Geoffroy de Courcel, the French Ambassador to Britain, put pen to paper on a treaty which detailed the decision by the two countries to build Concorde.CONCORDE TAKE OFF

the Concorde fleet was, at its height, 18  Supersonic aeroplanes.  flown by Air France  and British Airways.  first commercial flights were, I think in 1976. the fleet was decommissioned in 2003, after a crash in Paris added to the commercial viability problems following  9/11/2001 reduced passengers on all trans Atlantic flights dramatically.   However there are still 8n aircraft still in first class condition around the world, and we have one here in Manchester.  I took a tour around the plane on my birthday a couple of weeks ago. for me it was nostalgia, as I flew Concorde in 1978 to and from Bahrain, and in the 90’s to and from New York, both Air France from Paris and B.A. from London. seeing those airspeed signs  going up to and passing Mach2 was indeed a special feeling. travelling at twice the speed of sound, faster than a bullet  was  quite amazing, as not a tremor or  shake to advise you of the speed, just the read- out at the cabin front.  I remember the captain announcing that ” there are other planes that fly at this speed, but the R.A.F. don’t serve caviar and champagne at 1,350 miles an hour ! enjoy! ”

But, back to Manchester, I have a ttached a couple of photos showing the millions of dials the pilots had to contend with.

Magic!concorde 001 concorde002


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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.