Mayor's Age-Friendly Challenge

Mayor's Age-Friendly Challenge

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, issued an Age-Friendly Challenge to help make Greater Manchester the best place in the UK to grow older.

Greater Manchester is already the UK’s first age-friendly city-region according to the World Health Organization. Great news! But what does that look like in reality?

Through the Mayor’s age-friendly challenge, we've found practical examples of what age-friendly really means and share best practice across the city region.

The response to this challenge has been fantastic. The variety of age-friendly work displayed from all our winners clearly shows the commitment from our local communities to make sure that people in Greater Manchester are living not just longer, but happier and healthier too.

Greater Manchester's Age-Friendly Neighbourhoods 

The neighbourhoods now officially recognised as age-friendly, are:

District Place
Bolton Crompton
Bolton Halliwell
Bolton Tonge with the Haulgh
Bury Moorside
Bury Radcliffe
Bury St Mary's
Manchester Ancoats
Manchester Levenshulme
Manchester Old Moat
Manchester Whalley Range
Manchester Burnage
Manchester Hulme & Moss Side
Manchester Miles Platting
Manchester Moston
Oldham Alexandra
Oldham Crompton
Oldham Failsworth West
Rochdale Central
Rochdale Firgrove & Smallbridge
Rochdale West Middleton
Salford Broughton
Salford Weaste & Seedley
Stockport Heatons
Tameside  Mottram
Tameside Denton Sth
Tameside Newton
Tameside Waterloo
Trafford Clifford
Wigan Shevington
Wigan Atherton
Wigan Leigh West
Wigan Pemberton

Accredited schemes will now be promoted by Ambition for Ageing as examples of best practice, including to external funders.

Winners will be given support to:

  • Improve – could it be made better?
  • Grow – could it be made bigger?
  • Share – could others learn from what you’re doing?


If you have any questions about the challenge, need support with your application, or want to email across a Word version of the application form, contact Ambition for Ageing:

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
Age-friendly neighbourhood case study

Old Moat is a ward and housing estate in Withington. The lead partner on the Old Moat work is Southway Housing.

In order to create an age-friendly neighbourhood, a series of projects and changes were made to the neighbourhood. Benches were added to help older people access shops and other district centre amenities, which were sometimes combined with age-friendly noticeboards.

Old Moat was the first ward in Greater Manchester to introduce the ‘Take A seat’ campaign, which raises awareness amongst shops and traders on the needs of older customers. Road signage was changed in certain areas of Old Moat to make them more legible for older residents and to improve navigation for people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. 

Changes to Westbrook Close in Old Moat, South Manchester, was designed as part of a project to address isolation amongst older people. Southway engaged with local environmental groups to design adapted and accessible gardens to encourage older residents back into their gardens, providing raised beds and food growing support. A sensory garden was also introduced.

To counter the lack of designated community space, Southway are supporting older people to create a peer support network in Old Moat. A small IT Hub has been created, which can loan tablets to isolated older people and is supported by the Peer Support Network. Following involvement in a research project alongside a visual anthropologist, residents have set up their own creative writing group.

Future work planned for Old Moat includes a project to use locally-shot film footage to form the basis for a visit to an older person who has become socially isolated and a pop-up museum to stimulate discussion and encourage understanding of the balance in communities between people and the natural world.

Help us spread the word!

There are hundreds of great schemes taking place across Greater Manchester, but we don’t know about them all! Help us reach those people really making a positive difference to the lives of older people.

A bit more about us…

The Mayor’s Age-Friendly Communities Challenge was led by Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Ageing Hub, and delivered by Ambition for Ageing.

The Greater Manchester Ageing Hub sits within Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and works to improve the lives of older people in Greater Manchester. Our vision is that older residents are able to contribute to and benefit from sustained prosperity and enjoy a good quality of life. Working with our partners we have set up the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub to coordinate a strategic response to the opportunities and challenges of an ageing population.

Ambition for Ageing is a £10.2 million Greater Manchester level programme aimed at creating more age-friendly places and empowering people to live fulfilling lives as they age. It is funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Ageing Better programme, which aims to reduce social isolation of older people.

This challenge was influenced by feedback we’ve received from Greater Manchester Older People’s Network – a group of active and vocal older people who want to see Greater Manchester become the best place in the UK to grow older. We are also working closely with Local Authority ageing leads, experts in place reform and a number of other important figures in ageing.