Great Manchester - Doing ageing differently - Case study

It’s late April 2020 and like many others, working from home as the Covid crisis swirls around us. The world has been turned upside down and all our plans, both personal and professional have been placed on pause. They have been displaced by immediate concerns of keeping safe and of joining the effort to keep others safe.

In Greater Manchester that means we are working across public services, community groups and researchers to get information to those on the wrong side of digital divide. We are giving a platform to older people who are both worried – about the impact of Covid – and frustrated by the portrayal of older people as frail, vulnerable and sometimes, disposable.

And sooner rather than later we will be planning our response to the longer term implications of Covid. Here it seems is where the research conducted under the ACPA project can be looked at anew. There are a number of themes that we can build on:

  • Bringing services together at local level to respond to the ongoing needs and wants of older people, particularly those at risk of exclusion and isolation;
  • Promoting the diverse voices of older people as social actors;
  • The role of social innovation in transport, housing and cultural activities;
  • Collaborating internationally in an open and challenging way;
  • Building consensus around ambitious long-term plans with policy makers.

Each of these themes lends itself to our new situation we all find ourselves in. We need to reapply our collective efforts to ensure that the new normal is an “age-friendly new normal”.

A huge thanks to the legion of Greater Manchester colleagues who continue to inspire, and to our older people’s representatives who never give up.

Paul McGarry

Assistant Director, Greater Manchester Ageing Hub

ESPON ACPA – Adapting European Cities to Population Ageing: Policy Challenges and Best Practices


ESPON ACPA city report Greater Manchester_EN.pdf

  • Acrobat Document | 3.32MB