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In 2017 we issued an invitation to tender for a community brokerage service called Community Navigators which targeted the following three specific groups, selected because research tells us that they are at higher risk of social isolation owing to barriers they face engaging with mainstream activities. We also know that the numbers of people in these groups are likely to grow as Greater Manchester ages:


  • People over 50 with age-related hearing loss
  • Men over 75 living alone on a low income
  • Bangladeshi men and women over 50


Project objectives


The Community Navigators programme aimed to connect people to existing activities, services and organisations. This not only resulted in individuals becoming more socially connected, but also provided us with valuable learning as to the most effective ways of providing support to people in these groups.


Community Navigators is delivered by



Action on Hearing Loss – the largest charity of its kind in the UK – acted as the key point of contact for Greater Manchester, identifying and assisting isolated older people living with a range of deafness thresholds.



Southway Housing Trust, pioneers of the age-friendly ‘Take a seat’ business scheme, provided support to men over 65 in receipt of pension credit who are living alone in Manchester, Tameside and Oldham.


For more information, please contact Cathy Ayrton at



British Red Cross developed design guidance on working with the over 50s Bangladeshi community. This includes guidance of the barriers involved for the community and ways to engage and support them.