Manchester Ageing Study

Manchester presents to the United Nations
The Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA), based at The University of Manchester, is to present to the United Nations this week. At a session on the human rights of older people, Dr Tine Buffel will outline the institute’s ground-breaking project, whereby older residents were trained as co-researchers to explore the ‘age-friendliness’ of cities.

Tine  presented the project in New York this week at the United Nations three-day summit on protecting the human rights and dignity of older people!

Please see the press release below

Also click the link below to read the Reasearch Impact of this amazing project on the University of Manchester’s  School of Social Sciences website – with links to the film and the book
Photos of the film launch will appear on our website very soon!

Manchester presents to the United Nations

14 Jul 2015

The Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA) will inform a session on the human rights of older people at the UN in New York

Dr Tine Buffel explores the' age-friendliness' of cities with co-researchers

Dr Tine Buffel explores the’ age-friendliness’ of cities with co-researchers

Manchester will present to the United Nations this week on its ground-breaking work to improve the lives of older people.

Dr Tine Buffel, of The University of Manchester, will join a panel at the UN in New York to present research around ageing in cities.

The University’s Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA) has spearheaded a unique project in which older residents, aged between 58 and 74-years-old, were trained as co-researchers to work alongside sociologists exploring the ‘age-friendliness’ of cities.

Today Dr Buffel will present their work, delivered with partners across the city, as part of a three-day UN summit on protecting the human rights and dignity of older people.

Dr Buffel, a research fellow at MICRA at The University of Manchester, said: ‘The age-friendly approach is increasingly recognised as a model which promotes the right to a good old age. This is a fantastic opportunity to present Manchester’s innovative research and practice across the city council, the University and local communities to a global audience. Our experience is that training older people as co-researchers is effective in gaining a deeper understanding of the issues that older people themselves view as important. We want older people to feel that the city belongs to them as much as anyone else – and we believe the age-friendly approach is effective in doing this and can be replicated across neighbourhoods.

Manchester became the first UK city to be recognised as ‘age-friendly’ by the World Health Organisation in 2010. University of Manchester researchers predict that in 15 years time, a quarter of the world’s population living in cities will be over-60.

Link to the summit Twitter feed videos (including our film)

Twitter hashtag #OEWG6

About, Awards, Links – and Photos (by Chris Foster Photography )

Dr Tine Buffel wins a Social Responsibility Making a Difference Award

(22 May 2015)

Dr Tine Buffel, School of Social Sciences and MICRA, was the winner of the University of Manchester “Outstanding Local Community Collaboration” award for her project, Manchester Ageing Study.

In this project, Tine works together with older residents, community organisations and Manchester City Council to produce research and identify actions and strategies to improve the ‘age-friendliness’ of local neighbourhoods. An important feature is the active involvement of older people, who were trained as ‘co-researchers’, in all stages of the project.

The project focusses upon both researching and working with older people living in areas of high deprivation with a view to improving their experience of living in the city. It builds on policy priorities in the context of the Council being an active member of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Network of “Age-Friendly Cities” (2007:12), these defined as encouraging ‘active ageing in order to enhance quality of life as people age’. The project builds on a key principle developed by the WHO: the idea of prioritizing the role of older people in developing research and action plans to improve the ‘age-friendliness’ of their neighbourhood.

Through collaborative work with community organizations across three neighbourhoods in South Manchester, 18 older residents from different ethnic groups were trained to become ‘co-researchers’ in the project. They have played a key role in all stages of the research, including the planning, design and implementation phases. Training sessions focused on designing interview questions, data collection and sharing/translating findings. The co-researchers conducted 68 interviews with ‘difficult-to-reach’ older people about their needs to age well in the community. They also worked together with local community organisations to develop actions and strategies for social change on the basis of the research findings. In addition, 14 focus groups were held with community stakeholders to collaboratively identify opportunities for improving the age-friendliness of the different neighbourhoods.

In the next couple of Weeks we will see the release of a production film featuring the co-researchers that highlights the impact of research on ageing, urban environments and inequalities. Also, as the project nears completion Tine, with the help of her co-researchers, will release a booklet focussing on the process of involving older people in the research process.

For more information about the awards please follow the link below:


Photos by Chris Foster Photography:

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Chris Foster Photography

Chris Foster Photography