As we get older, it is even more important to move more for our body and mind. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to move and connect with others and the Greater Manchester Active Ageing Programme provided just that for over 55s. The programme was a £1-million initiative, funded by Sport England for a two-year period which came to an end in March 2020.
The programme explored new ways to encourage physical activity amongst older adults (over-55s). It needed to explore healthy ageing to tackle inequalities and the psychosocial barriers to physical activity amongst older adults. A series of pilots were developed across 8 of the 10 localities within GM; Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford. Each pilot used common principles to address the local strategic needs and provide much-needed opportunities including sessions such as;
The programme aligned to a series of core principles which were adopted by each of the 8 localities:
The final report, developed and written by the programme evaluation partner, The University of Manchester is now available to read. Following the development of the report, a 'learning report' has also been produced to support this, pulling out the key headline findings from the programme. These reports can all be downloaded from this page in the "GM Active Ageing Programme findings" section.
The programme aimed to work with over 4,500 older adults who will experience some of the benefits of being physically active:
Following retirement, Barbara found herself struggling physically, mentally and socially, to the extent that she was in severe pain physically and struggled to talk. After being convinced to join a walking group with Trafford's Walking for Health programme, all aspects of Barbara's life began to improve, with her family all noticing the change in her.
Gordon has been married to his wife for 55 years and after having to make the difficult decision to move her to a care home, increased his walking and completed a half marathon all at the age of 83. Through attending Link4Life's walking sessions, the social aspect has helped take his mind off the struggles of dealing with his wife’s dementia, releasing endorphins and reducing stress. Gordon has inspired many others at Vets in the Community and the Walking Group to do more exercise.