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What is the Greater Manchester Active Ageing Programme?

Introduction

Greater Manchester (GM) Active Ageing has been running since April 2018 and will run until March 2020. It will link a programme of co-designed interventions that support older people to become more physically active, with wider system work aimed at supporting older people to age well in their communities. The programme is a series of 8 pilots that are using some common principles in 8 different localities to address a local strategic need. In order to achieve this, the programme has been developed in line with the transformational principles of Greater Manchester Moving and in support of the Age-Friendly community approaches. The programme has the following core principles at its heart:-

  • Embedding physical activity in whole system community approaches that support improved outcomes for older adults.
  • Holding person-centred, strength based conversations with older people to understand their lives in their community and understand the opportunity for increased activity to improve their lives.
  • Involvement of inactive older people from the target audience in the design of solutions.
  • Applying evidence based approaches to engaging older adults in physical activity and using behaviour change theory to support this work.
  • Linking physical activity for older adults to local models of social prescribing across GM where relevant.

There will be several cross-cutting themes that will operate across all the GM pilots which include:-

  • Peer support and use of community champions to support target groups to move out of inactivity.
  • Use of positive images and language to change the narrative and promote a new positive vision of ageing.
  • Using the principles of co-production and strength-based conversations with older people to encourage more active lifestyles among inactive people aged 55 and over.

The GM Active Ageing approach also applies one the the key principles of the GM transformation work and a requirement of the Sport England investment, that of creating small test-beds and working to scale up effective approaches. The University of Manchester who is the evaluation partner, will work with the Greater Manchester partners to understand this in more detail and work up recommendations for transferability and scaling up.