Latest COVID restrictions & vaccine news, keeping well this winter, news & campaigns, things to do, advice, guidance and more!

  E-Bulletin Issue 188 – January 2021

This monthly update provides news, event details, information and advice for older people and those who work with and support older people.   Twitter Twitter   Email Email    

A very Happy & Safe New Year to you all! I’m Jon Atkin and have recently joined the Age Friendly Manchester team. I’m also the new editor of our monthly Age Friendly Manchester e-Bulletin. If you have any articles or news you would like to be considered for a future Bulletin, I can be contacted on I look forward to hearing from you!  
  Coronavirus (COVID-19)
COVID-19 is an illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called Coronavirus. New variants of COVID-19 have now been identified which means the virus can spread faster amongst the population.   Advice and Guidance
Early in the New Year, the Government announced a new national lockdown due to rising numbers of new cases and hospital admissions, some due to new strains of the COVID-19 virus.

This means there is still a ban on social mixing in any indoor setting as well as in private gardens, except within support bubbles. Support bubbles are when a single adult with/without children who lives alone joins with another household.

For the latest information on new national restrictions visit

Alongside these latest measures, rules around the wearing of face coverings and social distancing are still in effect. We all must: stay at home as much as possible limit contact with people you do not live with keep your distance if you go out (2m/6ft where possible) wash your hands regularly.     Protecting people more at risk from COVID-19
There are some people who need to pay particular attention to the Government’s advice to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They include: People aged over 60 (regardless of medical conditions) People with underlying health conditions, or ‘clinically vulnerable’, such as; Long-term respiratory disease, e.g. asthma, COPD and emphysema Heart, liver and kidney disease Diabetes Chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease.
See the Government’s website for a full list.

If you fall into one of these categories, you: should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise your contacts with others should continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual.                 Gardening Great-Gran Dena gives COVID some welly!   Dena was one of first to have the jab at the Newton Heath vaccination site. The former nurse wants to give confidence to others to have their jab. You will be contacted for a vaccine appointment, so no need to ring your GP.     You have probably seen in the media that a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination programme is now underway, beginning with older people, vulnerable people, care home and NHS staff. In Manchester, there are several local vaccination centres based all around the city area.
If you are in one of the groups above, you should be contacted (normally by your GP) with details of where and when you can be vaccinated.

Some people have been unfortunately been affected by scams linked to the vaccine. Please be aware that you will never be asked to pay for your NHS vaccine.

There is a mass-vaccination site based at the Tennis Centre at the Etihad Campus in east Manchester. You may also be contacted about an option to be vaccinated at this site.     Vaccination is really important so that we can protect our community against serious illnesses. But, as the COVID vaccine roll out continues, the NHS know lots of you have questions, so they are trying to answer as many as possible.       Latest News   Keeping Well This Winter
The Greater Manchester Ageing Hub has launched a campaign to support older people with practical information to keep well this winter. The package includes a useful advice booklet, a short film and a handy set of talking tips.

The Keeping Well This Winter booklet
The Keeping Well at Home booklet is packed full of information about money, safety at home and accessing health appointments. So far Age Friendly Manchester has distributed over 30,000 booklets across Manchester.   There is now also a handy checklist for Keeping Well This Winter.       Public Health England launches Better Health – Every Mind Matters Campaign  
The new Every Mind Matters website is here to support you during the COVID-19 outbreak and has a COVID-19 hub that includes tips and support on how to deal with change, cope with money worries and job uncertainty and how to look after your mental wellbeing while staying at home. It also includes practical tips and videos from experts on dealing with stress and anxiety, boosting your mood, sleeping better and what you can do to help others – including advice for parents and for children and young people.     COVID Impact Support Fund Launched   Manchester City Council launched its Covid-19 Impact Fund on January 6 2021. £300,000 is being made available for voluntary and community groups to support mental health and wellbeing and reduce social isolation in Manchester.

The fund is particularly interested in supporting the following groups:

• BAME communities
• Older People
• Disabled people
• LGBTQ+ communities
• North Manchester residents

Grants available:
• up to £10,000 for organisations applying on their own
• up to £30,000 for organisations applying in partnership

There will be two deadlines for applications: Monday 8 February and Monday 1 March.

Un-constituted informal groups can partner with a constituted group who can apply on their behalf. The Our Manchester Funds team are available to help you with any question you might have and can be contacted on:

For a prospectus and more information, please follow this link.     Transport for Greater Manchester Concessionary Pass Renewals for 2021     Please stay at home as much as possible and don’t travel to renew your pass at a Travelshop. Everyone should be staying at home to help protect the NHS and save lives, and only making journeys for legally permitted reasons, so please don’t travel to renew your pass. TfGM are allowing concessionary passholders, whose tram and train add-on is due to expire in February or March, to carry on travelling for essential off-peak journeys. If you need to travel, you can continue to use your pass, without renewing, until 31 March 2021. After this, you should renew when you plan to start travelling by tram or train and your £10 will last for a full year from your new start date. (You can pay up to 7 days before your chosen start date.) Remember, you are entitled to free, off-peak bus travel across England and, if you only use buses, you can choose not to pay to add tram and train. More information is available at on the TFGM website or by phoning 0300 323 83.     Old Frame New Picture
Older People’s Photography Competition Results Announced!     The winners of a photography competition, aimed at challenging negative stereotypes of older people, will have their work shown to thousands of people. Six striking images that celebrate the diversity of older people’s lives and their contributions to society are on display on digital billboards in each of Greater Manchester’s 10 boroughs from 18 January. The images are free to use for partners of the Greater Manchester Older People’s Network and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority for non-commercial purposes, until 2026. Find out more and see all the images.     North West HIV Charity is recruiting George House Trust, the North West’s HIV charity, based in Ardwick, is currently looking for a Project Coordinator to lead their Age+ project for people living with HIV and over the age of 55.     Manchester Libraries Help Out!     During the COVID-19 pandemic, Manchester’s Libraries have been adapting to the changing times and helping their local communities as much as possible.

One popular new initiative has been the Older People’s Hour. The first hour of current opening hours (usually 10-11 on weekdays and 11-12 on Saturdays) is reserved for people over 60. There have been over 4000 visits made during the Manchester Libraries’ Older People’s Hour since 1 August last year!

During lockdown, library staff have been keeping in regular contact with over 80 of their regular library social group members, some of whom are socially isolated and vulnerable, to ensure that they are safe and able to access everything they need.

Find out more about opening times and using libraries during COVID-19.     Things To Do   I Love You Too Project       Manchester Cares February Virtual Clubs   Manchester Cares has lots of online social events and activities planned for February to help beat those lockdown blues! Froom yoga to quizzes to art appreciation, there is something for everyone. All of them are free to attend and you can help getting Zoom set up to be able to join in.

Find out more about the February Social Clubs.

Make a referral to one of the Manchester Cares programmes.     Volunteer for Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery is looking for two volunteers to support and eventually deliver online its Philosophy Cafe and Art Bites conversations. These sessions are delivered through Zoom: Philosophy Café is an informal discussion group, running twice a month, exploring a philosophical question inspired by art on display. Art Bites is a weekly session comparing two art works from the gallery’s collection. The voluntary roles include selecting art works from the MAG online collection, thinking through themes, questions and topics, facilitating Zoom conversations so that participants in the sessions have an equal voice. Training will be available and new volunteers will gradually build up their responsibility.

If you are interested in applying, please respond to these questions by 5pm, Monday 8 Feb 2021

1. Tell us a bit about you
2. Why do you want to be considered for the volunteer role?
3. Please describe any experience you have that is useful?
4. Do you have access to a laptop that supports Zoom and stable internet access?

Email your replies to Meg Parnell and Ruth Edson:
Please put Online Conversation Volunteer, in the subject of the email.

Informal chats with shortlisted candidates will take place over Zoom on Monday 15 February 2021     Pride in Ageing Events & Activities   The Pride in Ageing initiative is ensuring that the voices of LGBT people over the age of 50 are heard when it comes to ageing policy and activity in Greater Manchester, with an advisory group of 18 LGBT community members at the heart of the project. The views of LGBT people in mid and later life are informing the services and support the LGBT Foundation delivers. There is lots going on during February and beyond: Derek Jarman Pocket Park Volunteering Opportunity – Ongoing throughout Spring 2021 Virtual Rainbow Death Cafe – February 15th 2021 4-5pm Oral Histories Interviews – ongoing throughout Spring 2021 Back in the Closet – ongoing throughout Spring 2021
Find out more about all the Pride in Ageing activities.     Have Your Say   Help to Tackle Inequality In Manchester Greater Manchester has set up an Independent Inequalities Commission to look into inequalities based on aspects of life like age, gender, race, sexuality etc. Now the Commission wants to hear from members of the public to get their views.     General Reading & Resources   The Centre for Ageing Better Webinar: The State of Ageing in 2020
This online report captures a snapshot of how people in the UK are ageing today, while looking at past trends and our prospects if action isn’t taken. The report warns that the COVID-19 pandemic risks setting people in mid-life on a path to poverty and ill-health in older age. The interactive webinar explores the key themes of the report.       Manchester Urban Aging Group Covid-19 and Inequality report published   The paper Covid-19 and inequality: developing an age friendly strategy for recovery in low income communities, authored by members of MUARG, was recently published by the Journal of Quality in Ageing and Older Adults.     Advice & Support   Are you an unwaged carer in Manchester?   Carers Manchester Contact Point helpline is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm to answer all your carer queries. Please call 0161 543 8000

You can also contact Manchester City Council for social care emergencies and carer assessments by telephoning 0161 234 5001.     Manchester’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Foundation is here to help   Manchester’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Foundation understands how entering lockdown will once again be an increasingly difficult period for the LGBT community.

If you are feeling worried or upset, know that you are not alone. The LGBT Foundation are here if you need them, and will be throughout the second lockdown. Their helpline is open and they are ready to listen.

You can call the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30.     Employment Support
If you are a Manchester resident who has lost your job, are worried about possible redundancy or have had your hours reduced due to COVID-19, there is support available.

The Council and partners can help you to gain new skills, retrain and find new work. Register your details on the Help to Get Work page and we will be in touch to help you access the support you need.         Health and Wellbeing   The flu vaccination is more important than ever this year. It will help save lives.
People aged 65 years and over are more likely to experience serious complications from flu. As well as having your flu vaccine, you may be eligible for the pneumococcal and shingles vaccines. All three vaccines can be given at the same time.

Ask your pharmacist or GP about the free flu vaccine. Social distancing and safety measures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

More information on the flu vaccine can be found on the NHS website.     Free Exercise Guides   Manchester’s Physical Activity Referral Service (PARS) have put together a range of exercise guides to help people increase their fitness levels. Helping more people stay more active, more often!
There are four different guides to help with reducing back pain, strength and balance, cardiovascular fitness and COPD. Here are their top tips: Exercises to help reduce back pain When mobilising ensure you work from head to toe, scanning down your body as you loosen your joints. Try to engage your core by pulling your belly button in towards your spine. Think about your posture and keeping a neutral spine. Exercises to help with strength & balance Remember to work all your movements in a slow and controlled manner. Always look ahead, not down at the floor or feet. Always ensure you complete a cool down to finish. Exercises to help your cardiovascular fitness Remember it is important to always complete a minimum of a 15 minute warm up. Keep all resistance work movements slow and controlled. When you start to feel fitter, try to increase your cardio workout gradually. Exercises to help with COPD Rest until breathing is regulated until you start your next exercise. Don’t forget to challenge yourself! Aim to build up your exercise duration over the weeks.
You can download the full guides from the Buzz Health and Wellbeing Service website.     The Age-Friendly Manchester Team   Established in 2003 as Valuing Older People, Age-Friendly Manchester is a partnership involving organisations, groups and individuals across the city playing their part in making Manchester a great place to grow older. Alongside new e-Bulletin editor Jon Atkin, the team also recently welcomed fellow new-starters Dawn Warriner & Nabila Farooq!   We’ll be back with our next e-Bulletin in a month’s time. Please send us any news articles or event/regular group listing requests at least two weeks ahead.     Please share this email and stay in touch…   Share Share   Tweet Tweet   Forward Forward Copyright © 2021 Manchester City Council, All rights reserved.
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