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Ambition for Ageing

Ambition for Ageing is a £10.2 million Greater Manchester level programme aimed at creating more age friendly places and empowering people to live fulfilling lives as they age. It is funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Ageing Better programme, which aims to reduce social isolation of older people.

Led by GMCVO, the 5 year programme is delivered by a cross-sector partnership with Local Delivery Leads (LDLs) leading on the work in 24 wards across 8 local authorities in Greater Manchester.

Groundwork have been appointed as Local Delivery Lead for three wards in Bury - Moorside, Radcliffe North, and St Mary’s.

Ambition for Ageing’s belief is that a series of small changes within our communities will bring large scale success in a practical and sustainable sense that will ultimately help to reduce social isolation.

Putting older people at the heart of designing the places they live, the programme will facilitate the development of existing assets* within communities allowing older people to direct investments.

Ambition for Ageing will demonstrate economic value, deliver learning and development, offer research and insight and generate new approaches which enable people to age well in their communities.

 By developing clear structures we will enable older people’s voices to be influential and ensure communities to become more age friendly over time through relationships created and stronger local assets.

*We define an asset as anything that connects or is a strength in a community. It could include people, organisations, networks and places, whatever matters to local people.


 Why is creating age friendly communities important?

 Ageing in Greater Manchester

Unemployment/under-employment: more than a fifth of Greater Manchester 50–64 year olds are out of work and in receipt of working age benefits.

The projected growth in single-person households: a 66% increase in the numbers of people in GM 75 plus living alone by 2036, with one in three men aged 75 living alone  by 2036.

The projected growth in GM in the population likely to be at risk of social isolation: a 75% increase in the number of people aged 75 and over by 2036.

The projected growth in the number of people predicted to be diagnosed with some form of dementia: from 32,000 in GM in 2011 to 61,000 in 2036.


The richest 10% of the population aged 50 and older own 43% of total non-pension wealth, while the richest 30% own three quarters of total non-pension wealth.

Wealth differences in levels of frailty are stark; the trajectory of frailty for an individual in the richest third of the population at age 80+  is comparable to that for a 70–74 year old  in the poorest third.

Social Isolation In Greater Manchester

In Greater Manchester, 14% (61,000) of men and 11% (53,000) of women are likely  to experience social isolation.

People with adequate social relationships have a 50% greater likelihood of survival compared to those with poor or insufficient social relationships. Social connectedness plays an important role in the mental  well-being of older adults.

Health issues arising from isolation lead to an increased use of health and social  care services.

Social isolation of older adults can also weaken bonds and solidarity within communities.  

Someone can be at risk of social isolation on an individual, community or structural level.

A successful approach

Responses to social isolation can be grouped into different approaches: one-to-one, group, service provision and wider community development/neighbourhood. Ambition for Ageing is looking to explore in the latter, of which there is limited evidence in literature. Based on what evidence there is, it is clear that this approach has great potential if it utilises existing resources, involves local people and community research, has strong partnership working and respects the diversity of communities within the place.


  • The majority of older people in Greater Manchester engaged by the programme will identify their neighbourhood as more  age-friendly.
  •  In areas supported by this project; an increased number of older people will undertake activities of interest and the capacity of local assets will increase.
  •  Initiatives to reduce social isolation will be mainstreamed into public, private and voluntary and community sector delivery.
  •  The contribution of older people to civic, cultural and economic life will be recognised in Greater Manchester strategies.

Dates for your Diaries

Click here to download our Ambition for Ageing Calendar of Events (July).