There are many Community Champions programmes across the country. Often associated with health and wellbeing, they are characterised by a focus on volunteers using their community connections and local knowledge, offering those involved the opportunity to share information and make a difference in their neighbourhood or social network.

To our knowledge, the Culture Champions programme is the only ‘Champions’ scheme that focuses on culture. It was launched in Manchester in October 2011 with support from the Baring Foundation. CADA commissioned this report from Emma Horridge with the support of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). It records how this programme, which began by connecting older people with Manchester’s cultural organisations, has developed over the last decade and expanded across the city region. Thanks to all who contributed to it, particularly the Culture Champions themselves

This scoping report contributes to CADA’s exploration of how to amplify the voice of older people in the cultural life of the country. The findings demonstrate the different contexts in which the Culture Champions programme has been delivered and shows how older people have created a range of cultural opportunities and developed new roles and networks in their communities, on the one hand, building bridges with existing arts organisations in town and city centres and on the other hand, generating their own activities and events in their neighbourhoods.

We hope that the findings of this report will encourage and inform more conversations about a citizen-led approach to creative ageing and generate the opportunity for older people who are actively involved in and leading a range of projects across the country to connect with one another.


Download the Report