Greater Manchester named UK’s first age-friendly city region

The World Health Organization has recognised Greater Manchester as the UK’s first age-friendly city region as it launches an age-friendly strategy.

Greater Manchester’s status as the UK’s first age-friendly city-region is the result of the Combined Authority’s Ageing Hub, which includes working with local authorities to develop their age-friendly plans, carrying out pilot research on worklessness and job insecurity amongst older people and launching the ‘Take a Seat’ campaign across Greater Manchester to make it easier for older people to access local amenities.

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, launched the age-friendly strategy in celebration of the achievement and also joined GreaterSport to celebrate the securing of £1 million funding from Sport England to encourage older people to be more physically and socially active. The investment will be used to help people aged over 55 become more active in their communities, socially and physically.

Burnham said: “To be recognised internationally for the plans we’ve put in place to improve the lives of older people is fantastic, but I want to make sure our policies and strategies translate into real changes for all of us as we age. This means providing ways for us all to stay healthy and active as we get older: ensuring our transport is accessible; making sure our plans for building new homes support age-friendly communities and neighbourhoods; and providing high-quality employment opportunities so that we are all able to stay in work for as long as we want or need.

“This summer Greater Manchester is holding a Festival of Ageing and I’ll be launching my Mayoral Challenge, asking people to put forward their ideas for making Greater Manchester a great place to grow old. I want people to think about what needs to happen to make sure we’re living – not just longer – but happier and healthier.”

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