Wythenshawe Age Friendly Winter Warmer bags

Wythenshawe Age Friendly Winter Warmer bags

Project to help older residents stay warm and well in winter

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.



Project team

Age Friendly Wythenshawe sub-group includes:

Local residents

Wythenshawe Forum Trust

South Manchester Lions

Manchester Local Care Organisation – Health development Coordinators

Wythenshawe Good Neighbours

The Tree of Life Centre



This project is aimed at older residents (generally 50+) who struggle to get out, are lonely or isolated. Services and community organisations from each neighbourhood (Wythenshawe and Northenden and Wythenshawe) will be allocating the bags to residents they feel are most in need of support. The bags are a way for us to reach those individuals who may not know what’s available to them. There will be telephone numbers for befriending services, heating and fuel information and support, information on local organisations that provide transport to groups and any available Christmas day events, a woolly hat and socks, hot drinks, plus a greetings card from the network. We will be gathering feedback from those who receive the bags and also getting a few stories that will highlight the impact of this connection in more detail.


Phone call feedback

Resident 1: “I would like to thank Emma for the beautiful Winter Warmer bag. The soup and the gloves and the hat and the jam, gorgeous…Thank you so so much, it’s much appreciated…”

Resident 2: “…I really enjoyed the bag, the hat is lovely. I wear it to bed to keep me warm…”

Email feedback

Resident 3 “Thank you very much for the Winter Warmer bag, such a lovely surprise and very helpful in these bad times. Everything in the bag was very much appreciated. Please thank everybody concerned on my behalf for thinking of me.”

Feedback Forms

Resident 4: “It was all very useful. It was nice that someone had gone to the trouble of assembling it”

Resident 5: “Very much appreciated, thank you.”

Resident 6: “It was very nice. I really liked the hat, gloves, socks and hot chocolate.”

Resident 7: “Feeling connected.”

Resident 8: “Everything, a lovely Surprise.” “Thank you for my bag, wish you all the very best and thank you all.”

Resident 9: “Yes I did enjoy receiving the bag…[I liked] receiving nice things to keep me warm when I’m out or in.”

Resident 10: Did you enjoy receiving the bag? “Yes I will use them all, thank you.” “I found it all useful and I will use the gloves when I’m in my garden.”


Due to current circumstances and on reflection from last year we decided to pack 250 bags initially to gauge the demand. 250 bags have now been delivered to older residents in Wythenshawe, however we found that it has been difficult for services to allocate these bags due to work load and/or other priorities at the moment. We have made a decision not to pack/deliver the remaining 250 bags. All non-perishable items will be kept for next year’s Winter Warmer campaign.

Main successes:

Knitting and donating hats was very popular – we received over 500 hats. The remaining hats were distributing to other NHW as they were delivering similar projects over winter.

The idea to get people in the community to knit hats for older residents started in Wythenshawe in 2017. This year we saw that this had become popular in other areas also.

Strong partnership working between services and residents.

Generous donations from local businesses

Positive feedback from residents.


The coordination of the delivery of bags could be more targeted, so the network knows exactly who received bags. We’re unsure if this will ever be possible due to data protection.

There is a strong desire from local people to help and support campaigns such as this. How do we embrace this and make sure people’s efforts aren’t wasted.

So far 12 people have returned feedback forms, 1 person has emailed and 2 people have called (as of 22nd January). The final bags have only just been delivered so we hope for more responses in the coming weeks. We may need to develop a better evaluation tool, which will be discussed in the sub-group when we start to plan for November 2021.

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


Emma Farrell - Neighbourhood Health Worker


T: 0161 271 0582

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