Category Archives: Inclusive Economy

Inclusive Economy

Statue of Annie Kenney outside the Old Town Hall in Oldham

Suffrage Centenary: a year of celebrations in Oldham

Toward the end of 2017, Councillor Hannah Roberts was appointed by the full council meeting to the role of Member Champion for the Suffrage to Citizenship Programme.  The aim of the programme was to celebrate the centenary of The Representation of the People Act which allowed men over the age of 21 and some women over the age of 30 the right to vote.

In order to commemorate this significant civil rights victory, various events and activities took place throughout 2018 involving Oldham Council services, schools, community groups, partners and the public.

It felt only right to honour and remember those who had dedicated their time to suffrage, especially given the prominent role Oldham’s women played to ensure the success of the cause. Suffragette Annie Kenney, from Springhead,  was  heavily involved with the Pankhurst family in campaigning for votes for women and was the first woman to be imprisoned for her Suffragette activities. We also had some notable suffragists too, including Marjory Lees. Marjory and her family were intertwined in the suffrage movement and were key figures in the town, particularly as the cause was gaining momentum.  Her mother, Dame Sarah Lees, was the first female Mayor of Oldham and only the second woman in the UK to be elected to the title of Mayor.

There are so many great moments to reflect on over the past year. Some of the highlights include the rare and special screening of an episode from the BBC’s 1974 drama ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ – we were only the second organisation to be granted permission to show this since it was first broadcast. We also made the news with a brilliant feature about Marjory Lees appearing on BBC Breakfast, and the unveiling of Annie Kenney’s statue in Parliament Square finished the year off perfectly.

Through tireless fundraising and the generosity of the public we have a lasting legacy to the suffrage movement. This timeline shows some of the other achievements from the past year. Thank you to everyone who was involved, whether you organised events or just attended them, you should feel a sense of pride as you look back on what we have all achieved.

Funded with Food

Funded with Food is a regular crowdfunding event, with the most recent happening just before Christmas.  Attendees all contribute to a pot which invited speaks can pitch for.  After the pitches, there is a vote as to whose pitch will win the pot.

Oldham Street Angels were our most recent winners.  They were awarded £520 from an audience which included HACK Oldham, Action Together and IF Oldham.

If you would like more information about Funded with Food or want to know how to pitch your own ideas, visit  The next event will be on Wednesday 3 April 2019, from 6pm.

The closing date for application forms is 30 March 2019.  

Oldham Food Network

What is it?

The Oldham Food Network:

  • Is a community-led organisation – run by local people, for local people
  • Brings together groups from communities across Oldham involved in food activity
  • Engages members borough-wide

What do our members do?

Why does this help?

Through the work of our members, the network helps to:

  • Improve individual and community resilience
  • Increase healthy eating and health outcomes
  • Tackle social isolation 
  • Make healthy food a choice for residents
  • Support enterprise around food
  • Reduce food insecurity

What have we done?

Since establishment, the Network has grown from a group of volunteers into an active movement, driving Oldham’s co-operative approach to food and growing and supporting a range of people and projects. 

In December 2016, the Network led a successful crowdfunding campaign for a Community Kitchen for Oldham Foodbank.  Through a myriad of fundraising activity, over £20,000 was raised in under 8 weeks, successfully galvanising support and investment from residents, partners, businesses and organisations across the borough.  The collaborative approach to community involvement created a swell of interest and support that continues to grow beyond the campaign.

What we’d like to achieve

We have five ambitions priorities we focus on:

  1. To co-ordinate food activity and support local communities (growing, cooking, sharing – and eating!)
  2. To increase food education and skills
  3. To grow food enterprise in Oldham
  4. To communicate opportunities and share resources around food
  5. To eradicate food waste

How do we achieve this?

Key to what we can achieve is:

  • By working co-operatively with partners
  • Through exploring joint opportunities
  • Supporting shared ambitions
  • Sharing knowledge and experiences
  • Communicating with others

What next?

Through connecting, joint-working, sharing and action we are empowering leaders across Oldham to drive a movement around the future of food. 

The Network is also moving towards establishing an entity to help increase sustainability, and seek and secure funding and investment to increase communications, marketing and activity that makes a difference. 

By empowering a Network for all Oldham, we are fostering a culture of collaboration by default. 

Health and Wellbeing College Spring 2017

The Health and Wellbeing College has announced its Spring Semester for 2017.

Health and Wellbeing College

The Health and Wellbeing college offers a range of recovery-focused educational courses, aimed at supporting people to recognise  their potential and make the most of their talents and resources, through self-management.

The spring semester will run from May to July 2017. 

Download the briefing below to learn further information about the college, along with details about how to get the college prospectus.

Health and Wellbeing College Spring Semester 2017

Click to Download

The college is for anyone aged 18 years and above who lives in Bury, Heywood, Middleton, Rochdale, Oldham, Stockport, Tameside or Glossop.

People are welcome regardless of whether they have a health condition or challenege, or they simply want to improve their health and wellbeing.

The college also welcomes those who care for someone – including friends, family and loves ones, as well as any staff working for Pennine Care.

Further details about the college, courses and how to enrol are provided in the college prospectus. This is available at

People can also contact the college at the following details:
? Telephone: 0161 716 2666
? Email:
? Facebook: @Health and Wellbeing College

Cartoon fun has a serious ‘stay well this winter’ message for people of Greater Manchester

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership have today launched a series of fun animations to help show Greater Manchester residents some easy ways to stay well this winter.

Supporting this year’s Stay Well This Winter campaign, which was launched by Public Health England and NHS England in October, the three short clips show a variety of colourful cartoon characters demonstrating the importance of taking simple steps like keeping warm, protecting yourself against flu and knowing where to go to get the right treatment if you should feel ill over the winter months.

Lord Peter Smith, Chair of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership Board said:

“No-one wants to get ill over the winter months, but there are some simple and effective steps you can take to stay well. By staying warm, protecting yourself and your family against flu and making sure you know where to go to get the treatment you need, you can help yourself and those you love stay well this winter. These animations are a great, fun way for us to get this simple yet important message across to the people of Greater Manchester.”

“We know that hospitals can face admission demands in winter and so earlier this year, to help make sure the NHS and social care in Greater Manchester can deal with the extra workload the winter months bring, the Partnership also launched a £5m fund to help prepare for colder weather.”

Keeping warm – both inside and outdoors – during winter is a really top tip as it can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression. Where possible, you should heat your home to at least 18°C (65°F) – although you might prefer your living room to be slightly warmer (especially if Granny is coming over to visit).

Flu can really give you the winter blues and getting vaccinated against the virus is the best way to help protect yourself. It is particularly important to get the flu vaccine if you are 65 or older, if you have a long term health condition (such as chronic respiratory disease like asthma; heart, kidney or liver disease; diabetes, etc.), or if you are pregnant. If you fall into any of these groups, the vaccination is free, so don’t put it off – it’s free because you need it.

If you’re pregnant, you can be assured that the flu vaccine is safe and will help protect both you and your baby. It’s also important for children to be vaccinated against the flu as we all know that, as cute as they are, kids love to share everything, including their germs. If your child was 2, 3 or 4 on 1 September 2016 they can have a free nasal spray – quick, easy, painless and no need for needles.

Last year across Greater Manchester, over half a million people were vaccinated. This included 335,000 people aged 65 years plus; 186,000 people in at risk groups, over 16,000 pregnant women and more than 46,000 children through the school programme. We want to help even more people this year. Remember, to be protected you need to have the vaccine every year as flu is unpredictable and previous years’ vaccinations may not protect you against the types of flu virus that are going around this year.

Knowing where to get the best treatment for you if you feel poorly this winter is also really important. Dr Richard Preece, Medical Director for Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said:

“If you are feeling unwell, even if it is just a cough or cold, the place to get help quickly is your local pharmacist.

Pharmacists are skilled healthcare professionals. You don’t need to book an appointment to see them and usually they can give you the advice and medicines you need straight away.

Remember, A&E really is for accidents and emergencies, like serious and life-threatening injuries and illnesses.”

You can watch the videos here – Please also visit for further helpful tips and advice on staying healthy in cold weather.


Oldham libraries become greater with access to millions more books for members

Oldham library users are now able to borrow books from other libraries across the region.

The borough and six other Greater Manchester councils’ libraries networks will operate a shared online catalogue system – giving access to 2.8 million books and other items held within the participating library services.

People in Oldham can now search for books in any of the participating councils’ collections, reserving items using their existing library card.

Manchester, Bolton, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Trafford and Oldham councils are all included in the shared Library Management System (LMS) scheme, as are Blackburn with Darwen Council – with Tameside joining later this year.

The Library Management System will make it easier for customers to find information and books, creating a single library catalogue for all the different areas.

Oldham Council Libraries cardholders will be able to access stock belonging to other participating library services*.

For more information about how the service works, visit:

Oldham College First in UK with New Social Media Initiative

Greater Manchester vocational education provider, Oldham College has launched a ground breaking service today in partnership with British company Miappi, to inform and engage students in a fresh and exciting way.

The new social media innovation, a social wall – Today at Oldham College, takes up the whole of the college’s web site homepage.

The social wall presents all the college’s social media activity in one place. The result is a constantly changing picture of what is happening in the vibrant learning community that is Oldham College. The information is drawn from the college’s social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. It includes pictures, video and stories featuring the work of students and staff, upcoming events and information about the college’s vocational education offer.

For further information, please click here:

New figures show Warm Homes Oldham is making a difference

Warm Homes Oldham is continuing to improve the lives and health of thousands of people across the borough, new government figures show.

In the last three years the borough has fitted the second highest number of home improvements and new energy saving measures, such as boilers, loft insulation and cladding, in the country.

The figures, from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, show that 170 households out of every 1,000 in Oldham have benefitted from an ECO grant to improve their homes.

With a total of 15,416 installations being completed this is the highest total in Greater Manchester.

Lifelong Learning Service is outstanding – once again

Oldham Council’s Lifelong Learning Service has been officially rated ‘outstanding’ across the board – for the second time.

Ofsted awarded top marks, meaning the service has maintained the excellent levels it attained from its last inspection in 2009.

The service offers a diverse range of part-time courses for adults, helping learners to develop confidence, creativity, knowledge and skills and achieve qualifications which improve their employment prospects in the local job market.
The staff deliver courses across local venues, including Lifelong Learning Centres, schools, children’s centres, libraries and other community facilities.

Ofsted’s report highlighted the achievements of learners, with success rates being much higher than the national average.

They also praised the development of employability skills and the overall provision, including the creation of an environment where learners feel welcome, safe and valued.

Inspectors also noted the quality of provision, outstanding engagement with disadvantaged learners and the strength of leadership, management and governance.

Councillor Shoab Akhtar, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: “This report is a great endorsement of our Lifelong Learning Service.”