Age Friendly Communities for BAME residents during Covid-19

Age Friendly Communities for BAME residents during Covid-19

Support for older residents from the local BAME community who were worried about going out in their community after lockdown.

Benefit of Health Networks

Age-friendly networks in local communities ensure good practice and good ideas are circulated from one area to another, and that all areas promote the idea of an age friendly city. Taking part in the network empowers each member of the community to have greater control in their own health care.


Ardwick and Longsight neighbourhood

Project team

Buzz Age Friendly Team

Ardwick and Longsight Age Friendly Network


Lack of social distancing was raised as a concern by older BAME residents in the neighbourhood.

This was fed back to the buzz team via the Age Friendly network for this area and fed into a specific focus group facilitated by the buzz age friendly team to focus on the needs of older BAME residents during COVID19 and as lock down lifts. This focus group brought together partners from the Voluntary & Community, Statutory and Health Sector and one of the key things that was identified was a need for the social distancing message to be actively promoted in different languages, to support the needs of local people.

The buzz age friendly team agreed to source a leaflet and then the focus group members agreed to work collaboratively to get the poster out into public spaces to encourage social distancing.

Buzz’s knowledge and information team searched for the social distancing message in the languages required and nothing had been produced.

Buzz’s age friendly team also contacted the local council to see if they had any multi lingual resources but they hadn’t produced anything specifically around social distancing.

With this in mind, and lock down lifting, the buzz team and focus group members could see that this poster needed to be made as a matter of urgency and turned to Ardwick and Longsight mutual aid group (who have volunteers who speak 15 languages) to support with the production and translation of the poster. The poster was produced and turned around within 48 hours and was created by local people wanting to translate the social distancing message to help others who speak their language in their neighbourhood.

Buzz sent the poster to the focus group, and an engagement plan was made with Manchester council's neighbourhood officer taking the poster out into the community, VCS organisations promoting the poster through community wellbeing packs and through food parcels, the local integrated neighbourhood officer shared the poster with GP practices to promote and local housing providers attached the poster to newsletters for their tenants.

"They look great – you should be very proud of what you have achieved"

David Szuminski – Housing Manager. Your Housing Group


This project started with residents raising a need in their neighbourhood, local partners across different sectors worked together, inviting residents to get back involved and design something to improve health and wellbeing in the place where they live.

After receiving valuable feedback through the Council’s Neighbourhood Team about how non-English speakers access our information, we are working to provide our communications in different formats. These will include audio and video files containing subtitles and easy-read graphics to give each message the broadest reach possible.

By using audio and video files we can send the information to community Whatsapp groups in a format that can be easily shared and used effectively by people who may have literacy needs.

An online hub is being created on the Council’s website, where all the translated materials for communities can be more easily accessed with downloads of documents and messages in different formats and languages.

Strategic links to local/national policies:



Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Helping people age well

Taking Control of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester

Empowers people to take charge of their health

NHS Long Term Plan 2019

Enables people to live independently as they grow older

Manchester’s Self-Care Strategy

Creating an age-friendly city

Manchester Population Health Plan

Research/evidence base

Mantovani et al (2017) Engaging communities to improve mental health in African and Afro-Caribbean groups: the role of wellbeing champions Health & Social Care in the Community 25 (1) 167-176

NESTA – By us, for us: the power of co-design and co-delivery

NIHR – Improving community health networks for people with severe mental illness


Yasmin Holgeth

Neighbourhood Health Worker – Age Friendly Manchester

Tel: 07425536823

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