Give peace a chance to promote global unity
Reporter: Richard Hooton
Date published: 21 September 2016
FIRST mayor of peace . . . Councillor Derek Heffernan
OLDHAM Council is spreading peace across the borough with a series of events.
Oldham's Peace Week starts today on the United Nations International Day of Peace to celebrate, reflect and act on peace.
The activities aim to engage the public, schools, the community, faith groups and businesses in Oldham.
The council became the first local authority in the UK to sign the Pledge to Peace in 2015; a commitment to put in place projects and actions promoting a culture of peace in the borough.
Since then 13 local organisations have joined in signing the pledge and formed the Oldham Pledge to Peace Forum.
The council further showed their commitment by appointing the first mayor of peace, Councillor Derek Heffernan, this year.
Various activities will take place throughout the week including a peace day celebration event at Gallery Oldham and Oldham Library on Saturday from 1pm to 4pm - with the launch of a new peace book section, live music, entertainment, poetry and book readings, and a technology section with Hack Oldham and Roamer the Robot.
As well as the technology action, Legoland Discovery Centre at The Trafford Centre in Manchester will be there on the day with its master model builder, Alex Bidolak.
He will be hosting Lego building workshops and giving away prizes for the best build.
Anyone who attends the event will receive 'Kids Go Free' vouchers to use at the popular attraction.
There will also be a peace picnic in Dunwood Park on Sunday with arts and crafts, face painting and family entertainment between 1pm to 3pm.
Councillor Barbara Brownridge, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and cooperatives, said: "Oldham is home to many communities and cultures and these events are to help reinforce our positive work to promote peace.
"Two years ago Oldham Council worked with Peace Talks Oldham to organise a peace day event and it was so successful it's now developed into this programme.
"The fact we have 13 local organisations that have signed the Pledge to Peace just shows the borough's commitment to promoting peace.
"We will be raising the peace and respect flag on the UN International Day of Peace and engaging with schools through assemblies across the week.
"Through promoting peace we currently have links with four Italian signatory towns, Mazara Del Vallo, Calatafimi-Segesta, Pisa and Lari, and this will enable us to learn how we can help promote peace within our communities and beyond."
A web page has been set up which includes more information and a full list of events. Visit www.oldham.gov.uk/peaceweek.