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Active Ageing

Active Lives for all: GM Moving, Greater Manchester's movement for movement 

In Greater Manchester we take a whole system approach to physical activity. GM Moving is our collective movement for movement, as we pull together as people and partners, designing moving into everyday life, travel, work and play in Greater Manchester, to enable Active Lives for all.

Both the statistics and stories show that this approach is working. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic we were successfully reducing inactivity in Greater Manchester at two and a half times the national rate.

The many GM Moving stories highlight the ways in which moving helps people to feel better physically and mentally, supports social and economic inclusion and is helping us collectively to address the climate crisis.

Ayodeji hanging washing on washing line in a garden

GreaterSport, The Greater Manchester Ageing Hub, The Centre for Ageing Better, Local Age-friendly leads across Greater Manchester, Greater Manchester Older people’s network, the Healthy Ageing Research group at the University of Manchester, Transport for Greater Manchester, The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and other partners have been working together on a number of whole system initiates to support active ageing, to include:

The Greater Manchester Active Ageing programme successfully helped to embed moving into the lives of over 55s. 

At the start of the programme  71.1% of participants were inactive, moving for less than 30 minutes a week. After six months this reduced to 14.5%

The 'Keeping well at home' booklet was developed during the Covid-19 pandemic,  to include tips and advice on ways to move more and move well at home.   

The Greater Manchester  'Active Travel for Over 50s' Steering group undertook an evidence review and established recommendations to help widen access and participation in active travel.  

The GM Walking website provides lots of information to support everyday walking including age friendly opportunities.

For example the ‘Walk and Talk’ project supports access to green spaces across Salford.

Walk and Talk was developed by Age Friendly Salford in response to people feeling unsure about what to expect when visiting Salford’s public green spaces.

Short videos have been created in that illustrate the space for social distancing, provide directions and information on the availability of facilities. 

Gordon’s story

Gordon was one of 14,566 people engaged in the programme.

Gordon had been married to his wife for 55 years and after having to make the difficult decision to move her to a care home, increased his walking and completed a half marathon all at the age of 83.

Through attending Link4Life's walking sessions, the social aspect helped take his mind off the struggles of dealing with his wife’s dementia, releasing endorphins and reducing stress.

A former soldier, Gordon has inspired many others at Veterans in the Community and the Walking Group to do more exercise.

After his wife passed away and since taking part in the programme Gordon is now doing more to support veterans, recently setting himself a huge 1,000-mile walking challenge to raise money for Veterans In Communities.