Gorton Age Friendly Community Bench Walk

Gorton AF Bench Walk

A couple of weeks ago we were involved in an event marking the launch of 10 new Age Friendly benches in Gorton and Abbey Hey which were funded by ourselves and Arcon Housing.

The location of the benches were selected by local older people, and the event celebrated the two years of development work which we led on to source funding for and steer a collaborative approach to the design and installation of the new benches.

These benches aim to create a more accessible route around the Gorton and Abbey Hey district, enabling older residents and people with mobility barriers to travel comfortably and connect to community spaces, shops and health centres independently. Benches also provide a space where social connections can form between individuals taking a seat, and we hope that these new benches can become a real asset to the neighbourhood.

The launch event was a huge success with people across a range of ages coming along and enjoying a walk along the route of the new benches whilst enjoying live performances from TDS Cheer and Dance, Manchester Morris Dancers and Claire Mooney.

Along the bench route we also stopped off at Gorton Library where volunteers performed a poetry reading, we also visited Gorton Community Centre where attendees took a tour of the community gardens, visited the community grocers and saw the Women’s Group Craft Exhibition. Free food and drink were provided by the new Southways Mill House Extra Care Scheme Café, also each bench on the route was decorated to promote local community projects such as Manchester Camerata, Debdale Bowling Group and Debdale Eco Centre.

We would like to thank the following partners who we have worked with the make this project a success: Arcon Housing, Manchester City Council, GM Police, The Stroke Association, Gorton Libraries, Alan Kinsey, Chris and Vicki Kennedy, Cllr Reid, Southway Housing, Gorton and Levenshulme Age Friendly Network and those who played a role in designing where these benches would be located.

These age friendly benches are the first cluster of benches which we have supported in the city, with more benches to follow in Charlestown, Wythenshawe and Moss Side in 2022.

If you want to get in touch with Noah, your Neighbourhood Health Worker for Gorton, or our Age Friendly Neighbourhood Health Workers, you can contact them here.

Check out a video from the event below, and a timetable of all the action from the day!

Thanks to everyone for coming along! We'd love to hear from you to continue the conversation around making Manchester's communities more age friendly. Send us a tweet @buzzmanc, email us buzz@gmmh.nhs.uk, call us on 0161 271 0505, or write to us at buzz Manchester Health & Wellbeing Service, 1st Floor, Fallowfield Library, Platt Lane, Manchester, M14 7FB.

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