The aim of the partnership is to understand what the neighbourhood is like for older people to live in now and how it can be improve it in the future. There is a focus on how the community can tackle social isolation – both supporting those who currently experience isolation and those at risk of becoming socially isolated in the future.
Age-Friendly Burnage is empowered to do this through both a £94, 000 investment fund and support from the ‘Manchester Age-Friendly Neighbourhoods’ team at Manchester School of Architecture. Funding for this comes from The Big Lottery Fund via the Ambition for Ageing programme – a Greater Manchester-wide network of neighbourhood projects aiming to reduce social isolation in the city region. The current funded element of the project will run until March 2020, but the partnership is working towards sustainable model in order to continue beyond this period.
There are three main tasks that the partnership undertakes:
1. Creating an ‘Action Plan’: Over 250 people have contributed to the development of the neighbourhood action plan, offering both their experiences of Burnage and their ideas to make it better for older people. These experiences and views are combined with census data, a neighbourhood survey and urban design analysis to create a robust case for action.
2: Supporting and funding projects: One of the purposes of the action plan is to support the development of small projects (usually less than £2000) to try new things to reduce social isolation. These projects are supported, reviewed and agreed by our resident-led board, which consists of older people and representatives of institutions and organisations that are active in the area.
3: Create new relationships between organisations and older people: By creating new opportunities to work together, the partnership aims to make sure that the needs of older people are reflecting in all parts of the community and all the organisations who operate within it.