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what we do

What is the Ambition for Ageing Programme?

Ambition for Ageing (AfA) is a £10.2 million programme aimed at creating more age-friendly places in our city region and empowering people across Greater Manchester to live fulfilling lives as they age.


Led by Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisations (GMCVO), AfA launched in 2015 and is due to complete in 2020. Funded by the National Lottery Fund’s national Ageing Better initiative, our overarching focus is to reduce social isolation in older people.


Our fundamental belief is that the introduction of a series of small changes across Greater Manchester will gradually influence behaviours, beliefs and policies, and that these will ultimately result in a long term, large scale reduction in social isolation in older people across our city region.


Our learning is being captured in a series of case studies that we are producing for all the eight regions where we work, and currently also being researched to illustrate the progress being made in each of our scaled programmes.


The story so far


As of January 2019, we are seeing significant impacts and improvements, as reflected in the following statistics:


  • Over 13,400 older people have designed and delivered 937 community projects
  • 1,970 older people have participated in longer term projects
  • 1, 174 steering group members in 24 steering groups have given 52,954 hours, shaping local processes and making spending decisions






Our two workstreams


By providing small investments to help develop more age-friendly neighbourhoods across Greater Manchester, we seek to make communities feel more connected and for there to be more opportunities and activities on offer for older people in the places they live. We are doing this by focusing on two particular methods of operation;


Local projects


Our Local Delivery Leads (LDLs) are delivering the programme across the following twenty-five wards in eight GM boroughs:


Bolton: Crompton, Halliwell & Tonge with the Haulgh

Bury: Moorside, Radcliffe North & St Mary’s

Manchester: Burnage, Hulme & Moss Side, Moston & Miles Platting

Oldham: Alexandra, Crompton & Failsworth West

Rochdale: Central Rochdale, Firgrove & Smallbridge & West Middleton

Salford: Broughton, Langworthy & Weaste & Seedley

Tameside: Ashton Waterloo, Denton South & Hyde Newton

Wigan Borough: Atherton, Leigh West & Pemberton.


Although Stockport and Trafford did not meet the National Lottery Fund’s participation criteria, we seek to ensure that all the learning we generate is shared across these areas.


Our LDLs work very closely with older people representing all our locations, encouraging them to research assets and challenges locally so they can use the information to develop new plans and proposals.


Scaled programmes


Alongside the LDL project work above, we are also funding and performance managing a series of scaled programmes:


Community Navigators

Community Media Research Project

Festival of Ageing

Growing Older with Learning Difficulties

Social Eating

Working Potential

Collective Effect

Community Media

Ageing Equally?

Culture Champions


These particular areas of focus have been selected in line with views and recommendations that we heard during the course of a number of conversations with older people from across Greater Manchester as part of a public consultation undertaken in the early stages of our work.




Useful definitions
  • Older people: commonly understood to refer to people over 65, but given the recognition that - owing to inequalities - people experience age related challenges at very different points in their lives, Ambition for Ageing uses this term to refer to people aged 50 and above.
  • Age-friendly: this can mean different things to different people but, within the Ambition for Ageing programme, it describes people of all ages being respected and able to actively contribute to decisions about the places in which they live.  It does not just refer to age-friendly neighbourhoods but to creating age-friendly businesses and workplaces which are, again, shaped by people’s knowledge and experience.
  • Social isolation: not the same as loneliness, this is being cut off from normal social networks - possibly by loss of mobility, unemployment, or health issues - resulting in no access to services or community involvement, and little or no communication with friends, family, and acquaintances.

‘An age-friendly world enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities and treats everyone with respect, regardless of their age. It is a place that makes it easy for older people to stay connected to people.  And it helps people stay healthy and active even at the oldest ages and provides appropriate support to those who can no longer look after themselves.’  THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION