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+ Old Frame New Picture Campaign

The Greater Manchester Older People’s Network Old Frame New Picture Campaign is designed to challenge the negative and stereotyped ways that older people are often represented in the media, as vulnerable or frail, something that has become even more prevalent during the pandemic.  This campaign is the result of a long-term project designed and developed by our network members to challenge negative assumptions about and representations of older people.  The project has been delivered in partnership with the Greater Manchester Ageing Hub and is funded by the Arts Council, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Ambition for Ageing as part of a series of projects harnessing the arts and creativity to support Greater Manchester’s ambitions to be the best place in the UK to grow old.

Our campaign calls on the media to represent older people differently, in all their diversity and vibrancy, as valuable not vulnerable!

There are various aspects to our campaign:



+ Old Frame New Picture Competition

The Old Frame New Picture Photography competition was launched on 1 October 2020 (International Older People’s Day) and closed for entries on 27 November, with judging taking place in December and early January. We wanted to involve people across Greater Manchester in the campaign and from the very first stages of the project members of the Network thought that this was the best way of doing this. We invited amateur and professional photographers across Greater Manchester to submit their images under 6 categories to capture the diversity, positivity and contribution of people aged 50 and over.

  • activism

  • supporting my community

  • old and proud

  • friends and family

  • taking part

  • self-portraits (including selfies)

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The judges included leading photographer Alex Rotas, who specialises in challenging ageing stereotypes through photography; Virginia Tandy, Director of CADA, the Creative Ageing Development Agency; Helen Wewiora, director of the Castlefield Gallery; Mike Sweeney, BBC Radio Manchester broadcaster;  Greater Manchester Older Peoples Network members and project collaborators Amy Muthra Shah and Elizabeth Lynskey; and Jai Chuhan, a visual artist, winner of the bOlder prize at the Manchester Open and a member of the Greater Manchester Older People’s Network.  Photographer, Simon Buckley, has supported the project throughout, acting as an advisor on many aspects of the competition and supporting with the judging process.  Simon’s work can be seen here.

We received a wide range of entries from professional and amateur photographers across Greater Manchester.

The winners are:

  1. “A proud man”, (pictured above) taken by professional photographer Darren Robinson of First Choice Homes Oldham tenant Danny Coley

  2. “Birthday girls’ day out”, by amateur photographer Lydia Fernandez-Arias, of Maureen Maunsell and Sheila Wallin enjoying themselves on a children’s playground

  3. “Pulse”, by amateur photographer Sabrina Fuller of her partner Eddie Sherwood, a drummer who used to play with bands Simply Red and Inner Sense


Darren took the picture of Danny as part of a commission for First Choice Homes during the summer to thank tenants and celebrate their contribution during the lockdown restrictions.

Darren said: “Danny kept saying how proud he was to have been asked to have his photo taken. He is a bit of a character and was so full of energy and enthusiasm - it was great to be able to capture that through this photo.”

Danny, aged 65, said: “I am what you would class as a ‘lover of life’. Life is what you make it and my glass is always half full.

“You’ll usually find me singing, dancing or laughing. I used to sing reggae on the Oldham pub circuit and my name was ‘Mr Entertainer’ – and I still am.  

“I think smiling and staying upbeat is what keeps me young!”

Image by Tiago Muraro

+ Online Event – How older people are represented in the media and what we can do about it.

On 28 October 2020 the Greater Manchester Older People's Network and Great Place GM hosted an online symposium event called 'Old Frame New Picture: How Older People are represented in the media and what we can do about it?'

This online event was an opportunity to examine and discuss the way older people are portrayed in the media with negative and stereotypical images of vulnerability and fragility. Speakers addressed how we can challenge this narrative with one that celebrates the diversity of older people’s lives and their contributions to society.   


+ History of the Old Frame New Picture Project and Campaign

The Old Frame New Picture project has grown out of a series of consultations, research and project work delivered by the Greater Manchester Older People’s Network over the past two years. 


  • October 2018 – Publication of our Health and Social Care report, following a participatory event in May. One of the recommendations of this report was, “Good news and positive stories about older people need to be shared with media outlets to increase positive language and view of older people as valued members of society and encourage a focus on health and wellbeing rather than illness.” (Link to report)


  • In May 2019 we established the Positive Ageing Imagery Group, comprised of members of the GM Older People’s Network. At monthly meetings, supported by a brilliant volunteer, Helen Morris, this group discussed ways of tackling the need for more positive imagery and the idea of a Greater Manchester wide photography competition. 


  • October 2019 – The Network held our Age Proud Event to coincide with Older People’s Day on October 1. A report was published following the event, highlighting the need to challenge the negative narratives surrounding ageing. We committed to holding a photography competition as a future project. One of the recommendations was: “We need to focus equally on words and images and ensure that visual representations of older people are positive and realistic. The GMOPN will hold an Age Proud photography competition to take action on this recommendation.” (link to report)


  • Early 2020: The Positive Ageing Imagery Group continued to meet and worked together to come up with a project plan for the competition.  The network managed to secure funding and partnered with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to make sure that the project had maximum impact across Greater Manchester. This included the support of Antonia Beck as project manager and the photographer Simon Buckley to act as a consultant on the project. NotQuiteLight.Com


  • February 2020  Mayor Andy Burnham, launched the competition, originally entitled ‘Age Proud’ at our Influencing event.


  • March 2020 – In the light of the pandemic, the network had to cancel all face to face activity and refocus its priorities. We agreed to postpone the competition but were committed to making sure that we relaunched as soon as possible.


  • July 2020 – work on project recommenced and we rebranded the competition ‘Old Frame New Picture’, including the category ‘self portraits (or selfies)’ so as to be inclusive of those shielding. We also allowed encouraged people to enter pictures taken before the pandemic as well as more recent shots to allow maximum participation and a wide range of images.


  • October 1 2020 – competition was relaunched, on International Older People’s Day, and as part of the GM wide campaign #valuablenotvulnerable. A video was produced to launch the campaign by members of the GM Older People’s Network project group.


+ Old Frame New Picture Gallery

We invited all photographers, professionals and amateurs to submit images that celebrate the diversity of older people’s lives and their contributions to society to challenge the negative and stereotyped ways older people are represented as vulnerable or frail.

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+ Billboard Displays

For two weeks, from Monday 18 January, digital billboards will be displayed outside Tesco stores, featuring the winning images from our competition.  We recognise the importance of this campaign having impact across Greater Manchester and have picked the locations to ensure maximum reach.


  • Woodfield Retail Park, Bury

  • Mansell Way, Horwich, Bolton

  • Hyde Road, Gorton, Manchester

  • Featherstall Road Chadderton, Oldham

  • Silk Street, Rochdale

  • Pendleton Way, Salford

  • Tiviot Way, Stockport

  • Trinity Street, Stalybridge, Tameside

  • Chester Road, Stretford, Trafford

  • Central Park Way, Wigan


Transport for Greater Manchester will also be displaying the billboards on passenger information displays at key interchanges.

12 images from the exhibition will also feature on postcards that will share key messages about the need to represent, see and talk about older people differently.

+ Postcard Campaign

Online Event
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