+ The GMOPN
The Greater Manchester Older People’s Network (GMOPN) was established in October 2015 as part of the Ambition for Ageing Programme, following a consultation with older people in Greater Manchester.
The development of the GMOPN is supported and facilitated by Macc, the support organisation for the voluntary and community sector in Manchester.
Macc support the network all the staffing and administrative functions, which is why you will find ‘@macc.org.uk’ in staff emails and why, if you phone us, the person answering will say ‘Macc’ rather than ‘Greater Manchester Older People’s Network’. Rest assured you will be directed to someone in the GMOPN team.
+ GMOPN Project Team
GM Older People's Network Development Worker
I have facilitated the Older People’s Network since 2017 and really enjoy working so closely with our members to help the network grow and develop. My role is to support the Network to champion the voice of older people within policy, strategy and communities in Greater Manchester. I organise and deliver our large-scale events, projects and consultations alongside members. I facilitate workshops and produce event reports and manifestos and support our Steering Group to ensure that the network’s work reflects the priorities of older people across Greater Manchester.
GM Older People’s Network Administrative Support Worker
My role includes providing administrative support to the Greater Manchester Older People’s Network. I produce the GMOPN Newsletter, look after our twitter account and I’m here to answer any enquiries you have about the network. I also provide support to the GMOPN meetings.
+ GMOPN Steering Group
I am originally from Tanzania, East Africa and I have lived in Manchester for over 48 years. After finishing my University degree, I joined a Bank where I worked for 30 years before taking a well-deserved retirement. Since then, I have worked as a volunteer in the local neighborhood of South Manchester. I am a Trustee at the Levenshulme Inspire Task Force which has featured in the national news for the work it has done to highlight issues for the older people of Levenshume. I am a member of the Age Friendly Manchester Board, Burnage Ambition for Ageing programme, the Equalities Board and the Public and Patient Advisory Committee. I am also an AFM Culture Champion. Through the GMOPN I am able to share information and able to influence strategies that affect older people in Greater Manchester.
Colin Bayley - Chair, Transport Working Group
I started volunteering in 2003 after my wife passed away. I joined Northern Counties Housing Association as their local area representative and later joined their Scrutiny Council where we would hold management to account regarding empty properties. Later the company joined forces with the Guinness Partnership.
In 2014 they had a reorganisation and we were no longer required.
In my local library they were advertising for over 50s to join a Tech and Tea group where you learnt basic computer skills. I took the course and was asked to volunteer helping on other courses and that is how I got involved with Salford Together Inspiring Communities. I was then asked to go to a meeting in central Manchester where Macc was forming an Action Group. I agreed to join and here I am today.
Since the first lockdown ended in July, I have been volunteering in north Manchester for the Black Health Forum, delivering meals to the elderly. I am also a member of the reformed Cheetham and Crumpsall Age Friendly forum.
Judie Collins - Chair, Housing Working Group
I chair our Transport and Housing Working Groups and I am a member of the Steering Group representing Trafford. I joined GMOPN because I was interested in devolution and wanted Trafford to build on what Manchester had done promoting Older People. I have enjoyed working with very different people from all over Greater Manchester and feel we are really beginning to make progress. My background is media, working in newspapers and broadcasting and I am involved nationally in the civic society movement and in community transport.
My name’s John Crompton and I’ve been the Steering Group representative for Oldham since 2015. I have lots of experience of working in matters to do with Ageing. I began working with the Age Concern Oldham, with my wife, in 2003 and also became a volunteer and worked with Oldham council officers in the Social Services. My engagement as a volunteer was to support older people in my District of Failsworth, which I continue to this day. I have been also involved with some volunteer work with the local Community Police Authority as well as working with the Local Youth group, advising them and enabling them to recognise the needs of the older generation. I have aided and assisted local area groups of older people on matters of health and care and obtaining grants for their organisations. I served on the Failsworth Area Committee for many years and have been the Honorary Chairman of the Failsworth Local History Society since its revival in 2003.
I was a district nurse in Rochdale for 25 years and I was a union rep for district nurses too. When I retired I got a diploma in counselling and I used to work with 11-18 year olds in schools. I also started a bereavement support group, I have received a community services award from the Rotary Club in Middleton and I have been a member of Rochdale’s User Carers group for 23 years. I have four children and I am a carer for one of my sons who lives with me.
I enjoy being in the Steering Group because it’s informative and you get to meet people from different parts of Greater Manchester and hear their experiences in their areas. I like to keep in touch with the members as it’s nice to have a chat and learn new things. My motto is you are never too old to learn!
My name is Izetta Enisuoh and I am a retired nurse and midwife. I am a mother, carer and a septuagenarian.
Since retiring I have been very involved in my community, volunteering at many organisations. I am currently a member of various groups including Age Friendly Manchester and Manchester Culture Champions. I’m a board member of the African and Caribbean Mental Health Services, a member of the African and Caribbean Women’s Group, a member of The Sugar Group, which provides information for people with diabetes and other medical conditions, and I’m a member of the GMOPN.
I enjoy being in the Steering Group as I like meeting members from different boroughs. It’s useful to share information and take it back to our local groups and communities too. The Steering group is great because it gives older people a voice in their communities.
A fun fact about me is I would love to be 5ft 8… like Judge Judy says!
Hello, I’m Jan Kitching and I live in Stockport. In 2016 when I started planning what I would do after I retired I had the opportunity to join Stockport Age Friendly Board who nominated me to join GMOPN Steering Group. I have made some very good friends from across Greater Manchester Boroughs and being involved locally and also in the wider Greater Manchester organisation has made me realise whether we live in the city, suburbs or countryside we all have the same experiences and challenges. I am also a member of Healthwatch Stockport Lived Experience Panel, the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) Patient Panel and the national Policy Sounding Board of AgeUK. My passion is communication and improving how we reach out to everyone. I have accidentally become the Steering Group’s technology guru as I have always worked with computers and am involved with social media communications. On a personal level, I am very lucky to have been married to Neil for 45 years (as at 2021) and we have two daughters and three grandchildren. Our elder daughter and family also live in Stockport and our younger daughter went to Australia in 2014 where she lives with her family in Queensland.
I’ve always been interested in community. When my daughter left for university I became part of a group that set up the Well Women’s centre in Middleton in the late 80s. That’s where I learnt what a cruel world I lived in meeting lots of people who were trying to raise families with very little money and who were very addicted to Valium and antidepressants. I found it was important to engage with other people when I reached 50, it’s important to look after your health and be aware of it as you get older. In 2004, I hurt my back at work and became depressed. I then got involved in the Patient council and later with Macc and the work they did with older people. This opened the door for me in being able to get involved with Better Health for Middleton. Being involved with the Greater Manchester OPN has offered me the opportunity to take part in training, develop my confidence and even get invited to the House of Lords. I am also a proud mother and grandma to 3 grandsons who live in the United States.
Steve Sherry - Vice Chair, Steering Group
I represent Bolton where I run a local LGBT group as well as co-chairing the local IAG group as an LGBT advisor for GMP Bolton. I also work with a local mental health charity and volunteer as an Advocate. I am interested in tackling inequality at every level, politics, music and photography. I enjoy being a member of the Steering Group as it allows us to give a voice to older people within Greater Manchester with an emphasis on my own area. A fun fact about me is I was once a holiday rep in the Canary Islands and made my presence felt. In many ways.
Gillian Stainthorpe - Chair, Health & Social Care Working Group
I am Gillian Stainthorpe generally known as Gill. I come from Whitby in North Yorkshire and moved to Salford in 1969 where I began my teaching career. I moved to Radcliffe now part of Bury MBC in 1971 when I married my teenage sweetheart.
I’ve had a varied career in teaching alongside which I became involved in the teachers union ATL, became an Executive member and Chair of Special Needs and Equalities reflecting my special interests in Education. I became a founder member of the General Teaching Council for England and continued to be elected until its demise in 2012. I was an Executive member and Chair of Registration and Regulation. I continued my day job, eventually becoming a Deputy Head of Service in charge of a team of teachers and bilingual assistants that met the needs of all new arrivals in the Borough including Asylum Seekers and Refugees.
Now retired I involve myself in charity work, including the Hospice, Rotary and the local Growing Together Group. My pet hates are people who are self centred and who marginalise others. Fun Fact: I learned to drive in a long wheeled land rover in a field of hay bales after my father left me to it after showing me how to start and stop!
Elaine Unegbu - Chair, Steering Group
My local area, Whalley Range, was the first area in Greater Manchester to install Age Friendly benches in the neighbourhood. This was an ageing debate with local residents, The University of Manchester and Age Friendly Manchester.
My interests include the intergenerational agenda and arts and culture. I am also a culture champion; one of the first eight.
I value being a member of the GMOPN Steering Group as it gives us the opportunity to be the voice for older people - to highlight the concerns of older people, influence decisions and bring about change to improve the lives of older people.
A fun fact about myself is I once flew via helicopter to an oil rig in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of southern Nigeria. I’d always wanted to ride a horse too and I finally conquered my fears in Cuba at the age of 67.