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Frequently Asked Questions - Mayor's Age-Friendly Challenge

1) What does age-friendly mean?

The World Health Organization definition of age-friendly is: "In an age-friendly community, policies, services and structures related to the physical and social environment are designed to support and enable older people to “age actively” – that is, to live in security, enjoy good health and continue to participate fully in society."


The ideas behind this challenge were influenced by the research of Ambition for Ageing, conversations with experts in the field of ageing, and feedback we’ve received from Greater Manchester Older People’s Network.

Older people have told us that an age-friendly neighbourhood or community is a place that:

  • Builds a feeling of community integration and belonging
  • Makes meeting and participation opportunities available
  • Develops things for people to do, reasons to connect and to try new things, and a way to discover new interests and skills or re-engage pre-existing ones
  • Helps people to feel independent through facilities and transport
  • Supports community resources and spaces for people to go to
  • Helps people feel safe
  • Provides information about what is going on

We are looking for applications that are able to demonstrate there is co-ordinated age-friendly activity happening at a neighbourhood level.


2) What does an unsuccessful application look like?

Applications will not be successful if there is:

  • A single project delivered by a single organisation.
  • No evidence to support claims.
  • No community involvement or older people’s voice.
  • A lack of neighbourhood focus e.g. limited to a residential housing unit or an application for an entire borough.


3) How do you define neighbourhood?

We are not setting specific parameters as we understand that a person’s perception of their neighbourhood may spread across different geographic areas.


We would recommend asking yourself these questions as a guide:

  • Do the people in the area recognise it as their neighbourhood?
  • Is the area approximately the size of a ward or smaller (~6,000 people)?
  • Is the area small enough that residents can access a range of age-friendly activity having to travel too far?

For example, we would not expect a single street to win the award. However, a number of streets that local people recognise as a place (such as a housing estate) may be eligible if you can demonstrate a number of examples of why the estate is age-friendly.


4) Can individual projects apply for this award?

The award is not for individual projects, it is for a geographical neighbourhood. As a result, we are not accepting applications from single projects, regardless of the size of the project.


5) Who has to contribute to the application?

Each area applied for will need a lead organisation to complete the form.  


Any key people in your area can contribute to the application, which may include but is not limited to; partners, key funded projects, Local Authority contacts, housing providers etc.


6) How do I apply?

The age-friendly challenge offers a supported application process. Please complete the form at, email or call 0161 277 1001 to arrange an initial telephone call with a member of staff to discuss your area’s eligibility.


If your area is eligible for the award, you will then be offered the opportunity to meet with a member of staff who will complete the application alongside you and your partners.


Please note, if you contact us after 19th September 2019, we cannot guarantee we will be able to offer support with your application.


7) What will the accreditation mean?

Successful schemes will be awarded with accreditation – official recognition from the Mayor and Combined Authority that your neighbourhood is age-friendly.


Through winning this award, we will work with the GM Ageing Hub at GMCA and the Mayor to improve your profile amongst key decision makers and strategists.


8) What if people who live in the area don’t agree that it’s age-friendly?

We recognise that even in the most age-friendly place, there may still be people who do not feel it is age-friendly. This is why we have introduced a tiered awards system:

  • Age-Friendly 20190: Achievement Award with Merit – an age-friendly neighbourhood
  • Age-Friendly 2019: Achievement Award – a neighbourhood that is making excellent progress towards becoming age-friendly.

The application process recognises that improvement is continual and we will support winners to improve, grow and share their accredited schemes.