An influential national think tank, set up by Iain Duncan-Smith, has hailed Manchester’s Valuing Older People (VOP) initiative as an example of good practice.
The report from the Centre for Social Justice called Age of Opportunity outlines how the government, communities and older people can work together to ensure that later life is an age of opportunity for all.
The report recommends that all local authorities should adopt Manchester City Council's approach to working with and for older residents through the Valuing Older People programme and to create their own local Valuing Older People teams. It also recommends that Manchester should lead the way by developing a toolkit to help other areas.
Councillor Sue Murphy, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council and executive lead for Valuing Older People said: "We care greatly about the well-being of older people in Manchester and understand that they have a valuable role to play in the way the city changes to make it a great place to grow older. This is why we have developed a team that puts their needs at the very heart of what we do. It is fantastic news that the team's hard work has received the recognition that it deserves."
Councillor Sue Cooley, Older People's Champion for Manchester City Council said: " Manchester has always been a forward thinking authority. And as more people are living longer we have to think seriously about the welfare of older people in our society. Already we have been recognised by the World Health Organisation when Manchester was accepted into their Global Network of Age-friendly Cities - the first in the UK to receive this accolade. What is great about the Valuing Older People approach is that it has attracted an investment of at least £3 into the city for every £1 invested in the team."
The report recognised that one of the key reasons for the success of the VOP team was the buy-in from the leadership of Manchester City Council and their unique approach to working with residents at a very local level through a series of VOP Networks.
Manchester 's VOP initiative was established in 2003.