Southway Housing

Our next moment comes from Southway Housing where students from the University of Manchester took part in a reminiscence workshop as part of the Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) Project.

“On Thursday 28th October, Southway Housing, students from the University of Manchester and OLDer Moat Group held a reminiscence workshop using poetry and photographs, as a mechanism for stimulating discussion and engagement. This moment was part of a series of activities, which are held monthly in Old Moat, as part of the Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) Project

A NORC is a community which was not originally built for older people, but that over the years has become primarily populated with older residents. Southway Housing is working with older people and partners to help older people remain independent and active in the community. This includes developing a new creative writing group, due to begin in November to explore ‘What Home and Community Mean’ with the goal of performing some of the work next year.




A number of studies have evidenced the detrimental effect of loneliness, which has the same impact on health, as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness can increase blood pressure, risk of depression and chance of developing dementia.

One of the fundamental principles of the development of the Old Moat NORC is involvement of older people. They are involved in determining the types of activities and events, which take place and a group have undertaken Community Organiser Training, so they can take a more active role in delivery.”

Participants report feeling :
– More connected to their local community
– More involved in their local neighbourhood
– More confident and able to enjoy meeting new people
– More active

‘I feel respected and that people have listened to me when talking about the Peer Support Network and other NORC projects’ Elma, OLDer Moat Group Member.

‘When you live on your own a day can feel like a very long time, so the regular events in Old Moat are very important to me.” Beryl, OLDer Moat Group Member.

‘I have loved today, talking about poems that showcase Manchester has been a great way of learning about other people and sharing their experiences’ Tommy, OLDer Moat Group Member.



Thanks to Southway Housing for sharing their moment with us!






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