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Ambition for Ageing eBulletin, August 2018





Call for Evidence: experiences in resilience on the part of older people who have been asylum seekers or refugees


AFA is working with Greater Manchester's Chief Resilience Officer and colleagues as part of the 100 Resilient Cities to feed into the GM Resilience Strategy.


We are seeking to speak to VCSE organisations or statutory bodies who have evidence (whether academic, informal sector findings or examples of your own work) on the experiences of older people who have been asylum seekers or refugees during their life, and the impact of this status on their resilience.


If you hold this information or would like to organise a meeting, please contact by Friday 24 August.


Social Eating - winning bid announced

We are delighted to announce that we have awarded the Social Eating contract to Talk Listen Change (TLC) who are the lead contractor for the project, working in conjunction with seven other partner organisations.


The new programme seeks to increase the number of opportunities for older people to come together and eat communally in Greater Manchester, thereby creating a range of social occasions where people feel they belong, can bond with existing friends and make new connections. To this end, we will be piloting a range of social eating projects, intended to become sustainable in the longer term. The learning gained through delivery will be used to create a 'how to' guide for people wishing to run similar projects in future. The work will be delivered across 23 wards across Bury, Rochdale, Bolton and Manchester.


Project vacancies


TLC are currently recruiting a social eating project manager. For more details and an application pack, please click here 


Groundwork in Bolton, Bury, Oldham and Rochdale are recruiting a social eating project officer. For more details and an application pack, please click here


Regular social eating programme updates will be published in the Social Eating section of our website.








The Festival of Ageing


Our Festival of Ageing - the very first of its kind to take place across the city region - attracted in the region of  8000 people to over 350 events across all ten GM boroughs. Local celebrations took a variety of forms including coffee mornings, fitness sessions, digital workshops, tai chi, walking football, wellbeing drop ins, public lectures, wall climbing, knitting groups, local history discussions, social meet-ups, dances, art groups, swing music nights, games mornings, singing groups, book clubs and even axe throwing.


Running from 2 to 15 July, the fortnight set out to bring people aged over 50 together to try something new, meet other people, make friends and have a good time. Feedback from participants was very positive and included the following comments.


Doreen Martin from Gorton, who ran an afternoon tea for fifty people, commented on the success of her venture, saying, "These events encourage people to get together and have a real community spirit. With something like an afternoon tea, it's like sitting around a family table."


Jackie Greenfield from Saddleworth, whose stroke survivor choir sang at the festival finale also had nothing but praise for the event, commenting, "It's an opportunity to publicise all the different things people can get involved in. Hopefully away from some of the stereotypes. I retired last year and although I am quite active and have a lot of social networks, I haven't found it easy. Doing things and having other people around is a really good thing, even when you are quite connected."


Reminder - Mayoral communities' challenge open for applications


It was during the course of the festival that the Mayor launched his commmunities' challenge, asking people to put forward their ideas for making GM even more age-friendly and a really great place to grow old. The objective of the challenge is to inspire people to think about what needs to happen in order for us to live not only longer lives, but happier, healthier ones too. To read more about the new challenge and how to be a part of it, click here


Meeting of first Engagement Panel, 19 July 2018


We have recently restructured our governance processes to give older people a better chance to feed into, and learn from, the work developed by the programme. As part of this process, we will be holding regular Engagement Panel meetings in conjunction with the GMOPN and the EB.


We will be using these sessions to consult on a range of issues, including new commissioning and policy proposals, and will also be presenting a number of different progress reports. Additionally we will be taking the opportunity to let our delivery partners share their learning with the panel. We hope this will improve the wider understanding of the work at a local level and the types of challenges organisations face in their day to day work.


Themed 'Engagement with Older People,' the first engagement panel took place on Thursday 19 July. Presentations were given by Bolton and Wigan Local Delivery Leads (LDLs) about their work. In addition, we ran an informal consultation on our community media project ahead of inviting organisations to bid on contracting with us. Looking ahead, we plan to use future engagement panel meetings to focus on  projects which have been developed by older people themselves. We are particularly interested in engagement work that targets the more marginalised communities.





A warm welcome to Sarah Wilkinson


We are very pleased to welcome another new colleague to the Equalities Board (EB) team this month - Sarah Wilkinson. Sarah will be taking over the work that Valeska was previously doing as Research and Learning Co-Ordinator.


New reports available


Last September, AFA funded the EB to commission research from five community groups who wanted to find out more about the needs of isolated people in their communities, and how they could be better supported. Details of the reports and where to find them are as follows:


1. The life experiences and challenges of Polish 50 + migrants by Europia

In this report, Europia looks at the challenges in daily life affecting older Polish migrants moving to Manchester after 2004.

The accessible version is available here

The final report is available here


2. Out of Sight by Henshaws

In this report, Henshaws looks at whether giving visual impairment awareness training to community organisations would improve the help that older people with sight loss can receive from non-specialist organisations.

The accessible version is available here

The final report is available here


3. Ageing Deaf Access by Manchester Deaf Centre

In this report, Manchester Deaf Centre draws on their research to demonstrate how isolated British Sign Language speakers are.

The accessible version is available here

The final report is available here


4. Join Us, Join In by Manchester People First

Manchester People first wanted to find out what makes it difficult for people with learning difficulties to anticipate in meetings. They ran a workshop for the EB and produced a guide to making meetings more accessible, and also one as to how to make information more accessible.

The Better Meetings accessible version is available here

The Better Meetings final version is available here

The Making Information Easier accessible version is available here

The Making Information Easier final version is available here


5. Sat Cung - Hearing Loss by Wai Yin

Wai Yin carried out some research to find out how much awareness older Chinese people have of hearing loss, and the support available to them.

Wai Yin accessible research report available here

Wai Yin final research report available here


EB will be lauching more reports after the summer - further updates on these will follow shortly.


Next EB meeting

Thursday 27 September, 1 to 3pm.

Venue: LGBT Foundation, 5 Richmond Street, M1 3H




Upcoming seminar series

The themes for the autumn 2018 seminar programme are due to be released shortly and details will be announced as soon as possible. In the meantime, the dates have been confirmed as follows:

  • Wednesday 3 October
  • Wednesday 7 November
  • Thursday 6 December


All events run from 1.30pm to 4pm and will take place at the St Thomas Centre.





Older People's Housing Champions' Group launches Ideas for Action guides


Care & Repair England's Older People and Housing Champions' Group encourages and supports action by older people's groups to improve housing and related services for ageing populations across England. GMOPN worked with them on their recent housing manifesto for Ageing Well, and has been cited by the Group as an excellent case study in good influencing practice.


The Group has recently produced a suite of Ideas for Action guides, plus a linked Housing Voices film, a resources pack and a new report. The report offers practical ideas for older people's groups, forums and organisations who want to influence local housing policy, plans and action, In particular, the report highlights pioneering ways to engage with communities of older people whose voices are less often heard.


The guides, film and resources can all be accessed here

Have you found this eBulletin useful?

If you would like to give us any feedback on this eBulletin, or suggest subjects or themes you would like to see covered in future, please email 

Date of next edition: 4 September 2018

For regular Ambition for Ageing updates throughout the month, please see the news page on our website and follow us on Twitter.