AFWR Annual Report 2014

Age-friendly Whalley Range Report 2014
In autumn 2012, the Whalley Range Community Forum (WRCF) met with Tracey Annette from what
was then known as the Valuing Older People team at Manchester City Council - to get some expert
advice on how to bring services and information together, to build links with older residents living in
the Whalley Range Ward.
As the Ward doesn’t have a central meeting point and the Forum has only a part-time worker, it has been a
struggle to maintain engagement with older people in the area - and not for lack of trying.
Over the years, the Forum has supported several attempts at building a local network - including the Carlton
Club over 50’s, a 50+ social group and reading group, working with Ward Coordination to hold events
specifically aimed at identifying the needs and priorities of residents and how they feel about growing older
in Whalley Range - and intergenerational activities at various events across the Ward in partnership with
other local groups.
An important event in June 2013 was the launch of ‘Age-friendly Whalley Range’ at the annual ‘Celebrate’
Community Festival, held at the St Margaret’s Centre on Brantingham Road in Whalley Range.
Prior to the festival launch, the Age-friendly Whalley Range Steering Group and mailing list was set up to
work with residents and local groups and businesses to encourage an age friendly initiative throughout
Whalley Range, with support from the Manchester City Council Valuing Older People team.
(Now known as Age-friendly Manchester /AFM)
A small grant from the British Society of Gerontology (BSG) enabled us to hire a dedicated marquee for the
festival, featuring a variety of information stalls relevant to older residents and an opportunity to speak to
local residents about their own thoughts about what is currently in place - and what needs to happen to make
Whalley Range more age-friendly.
Residents participated in an arts and crafts workshop to create our own Age-friendly Whalley Range mosaic
based on the age-friendly flower logo and incorporating the date of the launch.
A gentle seated exercise workshop for people with reduced mobility was provided by a local fitness
instructor and around 20 residents participated and expressed an interest in regular classes.
Many residents signed up to the new Age-friendly Whalley Range mailing list to receive updates about the
project. The mailing list continues to grow, attracting the interest of residents and relevant groups/agencies.
The BSG grant also enabled us to plan and promote an Age Debate at the Forum’s base at JNR8 (the leased
community rooms of Manley Park Methodist Church, shared with Whalley Range Youth Opportunities
Association) - to share more information and to speak to local older people about their own ideas in terms of
making Whalley Range more age-friendly.
The Age Debate included information displays and refreshments and took place a few weeks after the
Celebrate festival/Age-friendly launch - and we had a really good turnout.
Paul McGarry, Senior Strategy Manager for the Age-friendly Manchester team gave a presentation on the
citywide Age-friendly Manchester Programme - and Chris Phillipson, Professor of Sociology and Social
Gerontology from Manchester University talked about the Ageing Research Agenda.
Following the presentations, Paul and Chris - along with WRCF Chair Bill Williams and our local councillor
Mary Watson - took part in a lively Q & A panel discussion with residents around age-friendly initiatives
and how to identify and work with priorities - particularly in our Ward. This was also a great introduction to
our new AFWR group - and all attendees were added to the mailing list.
Our initial dedicated website was set up at along with a
YouTube site: the Age Debate is featured - along with slideshows and videos of our other events and other
videos from a wide variety of organisations, highlighting other projects aimed at older people in terms of
addressing health and wellbeing - and simply celebrating getting older.
Recently, all our WRCF websites have been combined into one bigger community site, with sections of
interest and galleries, local news, events and bulletins:
Manchester Ageing Study
An age-friendly research project involving local communities is now well underway in Whalley Range and
Chorlton. 15 local residents have taken part in a one-day training course and are carrying out interviews
across their own neighbourhoods, talking with older people about their experiences of living and growing
older where they live. All interviews will form part of the evidence base for the two-year project, which
began in October last year. The project is led by Dr Tine Buffel and Professor Chris Phillipson.
Health & Wellbeing
An NHS/Public Health focus group and consultation team were looking at ways to promote and increase the
uptake of Flu immunisation and based their pilot project in Whalley Range.
Members of the AFWR Steering Group and key representatives of other Whalley Range groups met at
JNR8/Manley Park Methodist Church to discuss effective promotion of the flu jab - and ideas for updated
publicity. The pilot of the project was based at the Range Medical Centre, Withington Road.
In October an AFWR representative attended and contributed to a discussion on issues affecting Whalley
Range residents with the Clinical Commissioning Group and their 5 year Health Strategy ‘Help shape your
local NHS’ around dementia, mental health and social care.
AFWR are planning a one-off Newsletter to specifically focus on older people and health in the Ward.
Projects and AFWR representation
In March 2014, members of the Age-friendly Whalley Range Steering Group took part in a meeting with
Bristol residents via a videoconference call. The Bristol group want to set up their own age-friendly
initiatives and our group shared tips and advice with the residents in a discussion about the Whalley Range
work and how AFWR initially started.
In September a number of local older people, aged 50+ mainly from the Tangmere Court locality,
participated in a research study around Mobility, Mood and Place. The aim of this project is to find out how
places can be designed working with older people, to make mobility in different environments easy,
enjoyable and meaningful. The study involved a Town Hall focus group session, a walk around the
Bridgewater canal and questionnaire as part of a study with Edinburgh University and MMU Design School.
Representatives from AFWR also met with a team of delegates from South Korea in October who visited the
Age-friendly Manchester team to discuss the age-friendly design of Manchester and Alexandra Park.
Community Action
The AFWR Steering Group has been instrumental in voicing resident’s concerns over a number of issues
over the past 18 months. For example - our valuable 16 bus service was recently deregulated and local
residents and businesses were supported to circulate and deliver petitions outlining concerns - a letter written
on behalf of the AFWR group was also sent to the Head of Transport.
The imminent closure of the local leisure centre which currently provides specific health and leisure
activities for older residents has raised a number of concerns which the group have highlighted. The new
complex is a mile away from the current site with poor transport links: the group also sought reassurance
that the new centre development team would be taking mobility and disability issues into consideration.
Social interaction
Thanks to a small grant from the Lord Mayors Charitable Fund we were able to present 6 social/information
events - each with a specific focus, including ‘Spring to Action’, ‘Health & Wellbeing’, ‘Food’ and ‘Winter
Safety’ - our final 2 events from this funding stream will be held in the spring of 2015: a Garden Party at the
British Muslim Heritage Centre and a Project Celebration at our base in the JNR8 Community Centre.
Accessible host venues have included housing providers for over 55’s and local church halls.
The events have provided interactive activities, including singing for wellbeing, an edible flowers and herbs
planting demonstration and workshop, a beginners/improvers guide to using a computer, health & wellbeing
demonstrations including Reiki and positivity, chair based exercise and pampering.
Entertainment was provided and lunch to share, encouraging conversation with old and new friends.
Information stalls covered everything from volunteering opportunities, consultations, local transport options,
fire and crime safety advice, health, hearing, housing, other local projects offering activities for older people
- and lots more. Blood pressure and blood sugar testing was available from a local pharmacy, a healthy
eating presentation and a range of information about support services - and of course the work of the Forum
and Age-friendly Whalley Range was promoted.
We were able to pay transport costs for people with reduced mobility who wanted to come along.
Food was provided by our own volunteers and a food project from a local community group - and meal
delivery services who deliver daily meals locally brought along lots of samples.
Our 3rd event - in partnership with Whalley Range Methodist Church representatives who are very active in
local food share schemes - focused on food poverty and good nutrition particularly for older residents.
The event launched Whalley Range Taste Buds food sharing scheme, local food growing projects and a
presentation of healthy eating by Loren Grant of
Local support groups promoted their services including Dementia Friends and Together Dementia Support.
This event also featured a visit from Manchester’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Susan Cooley who has Agefriendly Manchester as her theme during the year.
In November we held our 4th community event at St Werburgh’s Parish Hall with a theme ‘Winter Safety’
looking at keeping warm and safe during the winter months. Entertainment was provided by the Chorlton
Good Neighbours based singing group ‘The Melodics’ and safety initiatives included a presentation from
Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service and energy efficiency tips.
Timeline, links and achievements to date:
Autumn 2012: Initial meeting: WRCF - Bill, Chris, VOP - Tracey Annette
Wednesday 24th October 2012: Age-friendly Manchester launch event – including workshop and
presentation focusing on how to make an area age-friendly - using the Whalley Range Mapi
Meeting re forming a dedicated steering group and developing an ‘Action Plan’ to focus on the
priorities for local residents
Steering group formed , email account and mailing list set up and YouTube and Twitter accountii
June 2013: Launch of Age-friendly Whalley Range
Age Debate: in partnership with MCC VOP and British Society of Gerontologyiii
Flu Awareness focus group - arising from the views of the Steering group
Winter Warm Event: initial engagement with 50 residents and 15 age-friendly agencies
Age-friendly Newsletter - 1st issue produced and 6000 copies distributed to every house in Whalley
Range with funding support from Community Firstiv
Age-friendly Newsletter - 2nd issue compiled and large print version produced by Greater
Manchester Coalition of Disabled People. CCG additional copies supplied free of chargev
Resource files distributed: local and wider information files featuring useful contacts
Ageing Study/Age-friendly Whalley Range event: recruitment of co-researchers as interviewers as
part of the 2 year University of Manchester Ageing Study - piloted in Whalley Rangevi
Successful funding application to the Lord Mayor’s Charitable fund for 6 ward-wide community
facing sociable and informative events - including transport costs
May 2014 - Event 1: Spring Action Planting @ Tangmere Court - attracting 50 residents
Celebrate 2014: AFWR anniversary: stall - noticeboards, newsletters and photo gallery display
Event 2: Health & Wellbeing @ Trafalgar Court: again around 50 attendees and 15 info stalls
Whalley Range Taste Buds planning: a ‘Casserole club’ style scheme whereby residents cook an
extra plate of food for older neighboursvii
Alexandra Park Grand Reopening: Age-friendly Whalley Range stall and interview
Event 3: Food @ Whalley Range Methodist Church with Taste Buds launch: 8 cooks have signed up
Event 4: Winter Safety @ St Werburgh’s Church
Age-friendly Newsletter - 3rd issue produced and additional copies printed by CCGviii
Email drafted to approach businesses to encourage them to sign up to the ‘Age-friendly Business
Charter’. Businesses/groups who sign up will be able to display the age-friendly flower logo.
4 Festive Feasts took place during December. Community First funding was received to hold these
events - aimed purely as a social sit-down meal for older residents with transport costs included and
entertainment - a two course meal with crackers for party hats and mince pies: 80 attendees!
Alexandra Park reopening ceremony – august 2014
The end of August was a time to celebrate in Alexandra Park. We are fortunate to have the Park within
the ward which will serve as a template for national design - including the extensive research into parks with an Age-friendly strategy for Manchester Parks used as a model in terms of mobility/inclusive features.
The World Health Organisation includes outdoor spaces and buildings as one of the 8 recognised criteria to
identify an age-friendly city.
During the regeneration of the Park, local older people participated in consultations with the design teams
and architects, ensuring the design and planning took older people’s priorities into account.
AFWR have suggested the purchase of mobility scooters to help people with reduced mobility to access all
areas of the park.
We attracted a lot of interest at the grand re-opening ceremony in August 2014 - hosting an information stall
and promoting the group and the Taste Buds scheme at the event.
The event featured history talks in the revamped Chorlton Lodge and interviews with residents about their
memories of the park over the years.
Some of the interviews can be found on our AFWR YouTube site:
Two of the old benches from the park have been donated to AFWR and we are liaising with residents about
where to site them in Whalley Range as a resting point from spring 2015.
Information Sharing, Publicity and Social Media
3 Age-friendly Whalley Range Newsletters produced to date and updates provided at Forum meetings/Ward
meetings. WRCF also shares relevant information Ward-wide, via a 400+ mailing list.
The Steering Group is very active with regular meetings and information sharing - and the group is regularly
represented at local community events.
Presentations at WRCF AGM, articles in WRCF/Celebrate annual reports, Ward Plan/Health Plan input and
updates, dedicated website, twitter feed with over 118 followers - and the YouTube channel.
Promotion from other local community groups newsletters/websites and Community Index.
Whalley Range Taste Buds
The Whalley Range Community Forum and Age-friendly Whalley Range have recently launched a new
food project: the Food Futures Public Health team are supporting Whalley Range Taste Buds - a Casserole
Club-style food project in Whalley Range. The idea is to connect people who like to cook and are happy to
share an extra portion of a delicious home cooked meal with older neighbours living close by who could
really benefit from a hot cooked meal. The pilot is progressing well and has been promoted at all of our local
community events, via our website and newsletters – and in the Community Index magazine - as well as
through social networking sites i.e. Twitter, Facebook and other community sites.
Whalley Range residents represent a diverse range of cultural backgrounds, so there is the potential to offer
vegetarian, South Asian and West Indian cuisine for diners if mutually agreed.
Cooks have taken a short food hygiene course and Criminal Record Check (DBS) paid for by the project.
The website is at which is also being used to promote current
food-related information.
Moving Forward
To continue to establish AFWR and to develop further, we are looking at formally constituting the group,
working in partnership with local stakeholders and relevant services and businesses - including housing
providers and established local groups. This will ensure the group is in a position to apply for funding to
continue the work, engaging even more with local older residents – particularly those who are isolated and
need additional support. The Steering group will continue to support and highlight issues that affect older
residents in the Ward and wider community, regularly reviewing our Age-friendly Action Plan - and we aim
to produce regular newsletters to ensure residents who do not have access to the internet are still able to
access relevant news and information.
We will continue to work with local businesses and service providers to encourage an age-friendly business
approach, ensuring the needs and priorities of our older residents are taken into account in terms of
premises/venues and accessibility to these services.
We will share good practice with other local organisations - particularly those working with older people
and work with established groups to promote their services and signpost residents to support and activities to
widen opportunities. We will regularly consult with and listen to residents to ensure Whalley Range is a
place where people can access information to develop interests and improve health and wellbeing by
disseminating relevant information to people on the mailing list and those living in the Ward.
Gallery: Events and EngagEmEnt…
A Winter Warm event at Trafalgar Court back in 2013…
Event 3: ‘Food’ at Whalley Range Methodist Church
Event 4: ‘Winter Safety’ at St Werburgh’s Parish Hall
Publicity and front pages of our Age-friendly Whalley Range Newsletters
December 2014 - Festive Feasts!
4 fantastic seasonal get-togethers in various venues across Whalley Range.
Funded a by Community First grant - and just a good excuse to get together over a delicious hot meal, pull
some party crackers, wear party hats, tell rubbish jokes and join in with Freddi’s Christmas quiz!
As a result of the community meals we are planning to hold regular Coffee Mornings at the JNR8 Centre.
Catering was provided by Good Mood Food based in Hulme - part of Manchester Mind support services for
people with mental health issues - and everyone agreed that the food was absolutely delicious!
Entertainment came from Dave Taylor and his Hit Parade and Calypso George Clinton (with Bob Jones)
Events held at Trafalgar Court, St Margaret’s Centre, JNR8 and Tangmere Court attracted over 70 people.
The next 2 social information events for 2015 will be a Garden Party at the British Muslim Heritage Centre
and a Celebration at JNR8. Dates to be confirmed….
Finally - a few words from Rebecca Bromley, Age-friendly Manchester and Ageing Study:
“It has been a highlight seeing the Age-friendly Whalley Range project progress in expected and
unexpected ways, driven first hand by people who live in the community and are passionate about making
positive change in their neighbourhood. The Age-friendly Whalley Range project is the first of its kind in
Manchester (and we believe in the UK), and the learning from the project will be shared to help develop
other initiatives in neighbourhoods in the City and beyond.”
Whalley Range Map:
Age-friendly Whalley Range archive website:
Whalley Range Community Website:
AFWR Twitter:
AFWR YouTube:
British Society of Gerontology
Age-friendly Newsletter 1
Age-friendly Newsletter 2
Manchester Ageing Study:
Whalley Range Taste Buds /
Age-friendly Newsletter3
Report compiled by Chris Ricard
Photos: Anthony Morris, Chris Ricard, Freddi Greenmantle, Claire Cowell, Tine Buffel, Ali Ricard & Elsa Thomsen
Contact Chris Ricard at
JNR8 Youth & Community Centre,
82 Cromwell Avenue,
Whalley Range,
Manchester M16 0BG
Tel: 0161 881 3744
Email: [email protected]