The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has issued an Age-Friendly Challenge to help make Greater Manchester the best place in the UK to grow older.

Greater Manchester is already the UK’s first age-friendly city-region according to the World Health Organization. Great news! But what does that look like in reality?

Through the Mayor’s age-friendly challenge, we're finding practical examples of what age-friendly really means and sharing best practice across the city region.

Age-Friendly Challenge: Neighbourhoods 

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has issued the second round of his Age-Friendly Challenge: Neighbourhoods to make Greater Manchester the best place in the UK to grow older.

Successful areas will be awarded with accreditation – official recognition from the Mayor and Combined Authority that your neighbourhood is age-friendly. The categories are as follows:

  • Age-Friendly 2019: Achievement Award with Merit – an age-friendly place
  • Age-Friendly 2019: Achievement Award – a place that is making excellent progress towards becoming age-friendly

Accredited areas will be promoted by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the Mayor as examples of best practice, including to external funders.

Jamil, an older man from an Asian background wearing a suit. His quote reads, "Our age-friendly community promotes activities for people of all ages"

Guidance for applications

What we’re looking for

We are looking for applications from neighbourhoods that describe why your area is age-friendly. You must be able to demonstrate that in your neighbourhood there is:

  • Co-ordination of age-friendly activity
  • Partnership working across sectors with a wide range of organisations involved
  • Community leadership
  • Basic understanding of equalities

The challenge is open to the voluntary and community sector, public services, and older people's groups working collectively to make their community and neighbourhood more age-friendly. We would expect one organisation to complete the application for an area with input from all partners.

Successful entries will be those areas that have most improved the quality of life of older people in their communities, and which provide shining examples of age-friendly practice for others to learn from.

Chung, an older man wearing a shirt and tie, whose quote is, "I want to live in a good, steady, and relaxing life, in a safe community."

Please note, this award is only open to neighbourhoods, not individual projects. For example, ‘Gisvensham’ has a café that provides age-friendly activities and drop-in sessions, a local DIY store that is an age-friendly employer, and has adopted the “take a seat” scheme in its local shops. The activities were co-ordinated by the café, DIY Store and local shops alongside a group of older people and a local charity. ‘Gisvensham’ could therefore apply to be an age-friendly neighbourhood. However the café on its own, or the DIY store on its own could not apply individually. It’s a group effort!

All applications will be reviewed by an expert panel including representatives from the Greater Manchester Older People’s Network, Ambition for Ageing, Greater Manchester Ageing Hub, the Centre for Ageing Better, and the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA) at The University of Manchester.


  • Challenge launched: 2 July 2019
  • Deadline for supported application process: 18 October 2019
  • Final submission of applications: 31 October 2019
  • Accredited schemes announced: December 2019

Find out more and apply

The age-friendly challenge offers a supported application process. Please complete the form below to arrange an initial telephone call with a member of staff to discuss your area’s eligibility.

If your area is eligible for the award, you will then be offered the opportunity to meet with a member of staff who will complete the application alongside you and your partners.


If you have any questions or want to start the application process, contact Ambition for Ageing.

Please note, if you contact us after 19 September 2019, we cannot guarantee we will be able to offer support with your application.

All information provided will be held securely by GMCVO in accordance with our Privacy Statement (link opens in a new window).  

Two older White ladies, wearing summer clothes, laughing together. Marie's quote reads, "For an area to be age friendly, those in charge need to listen to older people."

Age-Friendly Challenge: Neighbourhoods (Round One Winners)

The response to round one of the age-friendly neighbourhoods challenge was fantastic. The variety of age-friendly work displayed from all our winners clearly shows the commitment from our local communities to make sure that people in Greater Manchester are living not just longer, but happier and healthier too.

The neighbourhoods now officially recognised as age-friendly, are:


  • Crompton
  • Farnworth
  • Halliwell
  • Tonge with the Haulgh


  • Greenmount
  • Moorside
  • Radcliffe
  • Ramsbottom
  • St Mary's
  • Tottington


  • Ancoats
  • Burnage
  • Fallowfield
  • Gorton
  • Hulme & Moss Side
  • Levenshulme
  • Miles Platting
  • Moston and New Moston
  • Old Moat
  • Rusholme
  • Whalley Range
  • Wythenshawe


  • Alexandra
  • Crompton
  • Failsworth West
  • Saddleworth and Lees


  • Central
  • Firgrove & Smallbridge
  • Kirkholt
  • West Middleton


  • Broughton
  • Little Hulton
  • Weaste & Seedley


  • Brinnington
  • Cheadle
  • Heatons
  • Marple
  • Reddish 


  • Denton North
  • Denton South
  • Denton West (Dane Bank)
  • Droylsden
  • Dukinfield
  • Mottram
  • Newton
  • Waterloo


  • Clifford
  • Sale West


  • Atherton
  • Leigh West
  • Pemberton
  • Shevington

A bit more about us…

The Mayor’s Age-Friendly Communities Challenge was led by Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s Ageing Hub, and delivered by Ambition for Ageing.

The Greater Manchester Ageing Hub sits within Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and works to improve the lives of older people in Greater Manchester. Our vision is that older residents are able to contribute to and benefit from sustained prosperity and enjoy a good quality of life. Working with our partners we have set up the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub to coordinate a strategic response to the opportunities and challenges of an ageing population.

Follow us on twitter GMAgeingHub or search for #AgeFriendlyGM

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.

This challenge was influenced by feedback we’ve received from Greater Manchester Older People’s Network – a group of active and vocal older people who want to see Greater Manchester become the best place in the UK to grow older. We are also working closely with Local Authority ageing leads, experts in place reform and a number of other important figures in ageing.

Follow us on twitter Greater Manchester Older People’s Network