First Choice Homes host awards for boost in funding for community groups in Oldham

Date published: 14 May 2019

More than 20 community groups which are creating social opportunities, improving wellbeing and breaking down barriers in Oldham have benefitted from a share of £13,000 of funding. 
Groups making a difference in Oldham were invited to bid for funding of up to £500 through the Rapid ROCA (Respect our Community Awards) run by First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) and it's partners. 

The partnership has now shared details of some of the 22 projects which successfully secured a grant in its latest round of applications.
The diverse projects supported range from community choirs and ‘Baby Boogie’ classes to a social group for children with autism called ‘The A Team’, a memory café for people with dementia and their carers and an Explorer Scouts group who are proposing to create a community garden.

Anne Collier, assistant explorer scouts leader said, “This grant is absolutely fabulous and allows our explorer scouts to undertake a very worthwhile project that will benefit them, the church and the wider community. 

In the past we have tried to do some gardening with tools and resources brought in by the explorer scouts but this grant will enable us to invest in proper tools and buy a greater range of plants.

We are planning to hold an open day in September to showcase the finished garden and will be inviting the wider community including the local mosque to participate.”
Another project which has secured a £500 grant is the Hathershaw Chai Ladies Group which brings together women from different backgrounds with a common purpose. 

Chai stands for Care, Help and Inspire and empowers mothers in Hathershaw to be better parents and focus on their wellbeing to help young people thrive in the community. 
Lorna Philip, essential skills co-ordinator at Hathershaw College said, “This grant has provided the mums of Hathershaw College students with a fantastic opportunity to work together to raise aspirations for their families and to gain a greater understanding of their children’s education. 

It also provides an opportunity for the ladies to up skill themselves and improve their own health and wellbeing.”
Vinny Roche, chief executive at FCHO said, “We recognise that there are so many fantastic initiatives run by people in our communities which share our aim of improving lives. 

We were blown away to learn about the breadth and diversity of projects on offer to people in Oldham and it’s a privilege to be able to offer some financial support to help these groups to thrive. 
Some groups focused on creativity, others on health and others on creating social opportunities to combat loneliness and isolation. The 22 groups we’ve been able to support through ROCA grants all share something in common; they are making a difference to people in Oldham. 
We hope this financial boost makes a positive contribution and we are delighted to announce that yet more funding is now available via Rapid ROCA.  This time anyone in the community can apply for a £100 towards running a Great Get Together event.”

People all over the country are being invited to come together with friends, neighbours and others they don’t yet know for street parties, picnics, barbeques and bake-off competitions etc, to celebrate all that unites communities.
The events should take place over the weekend of the 21st – 23rd June.

The Great Get Together has been inspired by Jo Cox MP who was killed on 16th June 2016. It aims to celebrate all that Britain’s diverse communities hold in common rather than issues which divides them. 
If you need financial help to run an event you can apply for an award from the Rapid ROCA fund of up to £100 in either cash or supermarket voucher.
To apply for funding, you will need to complete an application form, available from or telephone 0161 393 5302. Terms and conditions apply.
 The closing date for applications is 9am on Monday 2nd June 2019.

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