Getting around Leigh: Social research with older and disabled people

Project summary

The places where we live, work and play are essential to our wellbeing. Through our local neighbourhoods we access services likes shopping and healthcare and connect to other things we need, whether driving, cycling or using public transport. They are also important places for exercise, recreation, and social connection.

Our previous research has demonstrated that inequalities are experienced in neighbourhoods in Greater Manchester. This is particularly the case for older and disabled people.

In this research we are using qualitative methods, i.e. talking to people, to better understand how people see their local areas, how they get around, and how this affects their wellbeing and quality of life. We’ve chosen Leigh, in Wigan, as the focus for this stage of the project. In our interim report, we have set out some of the context for this by means of some interviews with older and disabled people and with stakeholders working with them.

The final report into our research is now available to view online. In this report we explore the relationship between mobility and sociability, and how social infrastructure features in the lives of older and disabled people. This consisted of three phases where in addition to the stakeholder interviews, we conducted mapping workshops along with walking and wheeling interviews with the residents of Leigh. Our findings are discussed in relation to active travel in Greater Manchester, along with our recommendations.

Illustration from the report.

Project outputs

Project contacts

Ian Cookson

Dr Graeme Sherriff