Category Archives: Love Where You Live

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.

Residents Love Where You Live Alley

Residents Love Where You Live – it’s right up our alley!

In an effort to clean up our streets and reduce flytipping in Oldham, residents and community organisations have been finding creative ways to come together as a community and deal with the problem.

To get the word out about the hard work of our residents, ifOldham and their team of volunteers have created a pop-up alleyway at Manchester Chambers in Oldham Town Centre, called the Love Where You Live alley.  There’s an array of planters, hanging baskets, flowers and edible plants to inspire you to spruce up your own neighbourhoods – and plenty of ifOldham experts around to talk to about the Love Where You Live alley.

If you’re not sure how to find Manchester Chambers, start from the Spindles entrance on the High Street and look for the little birds and bugs on the pavement – they’ll show you where you need to go!

 

To find out more about all the fantastic work that is going on across the borough, brightening up alleyways and bringing communities together, check out @ifOldham on Twitter and Facebook.

Flowers on Inspiration Street

Are you interested in growing your own fruit and vegetables?  If so, you may be interested in a free Level 2 Food Hygiene Course taking place on Wednesday 18 June.  See our previous post  for more info. 

10 Things about the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector

10 Things You Should Know About the Oldham Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector (VCSE)

Oldham is home to a thriving VCSE sector, with new enterprises starting up each day.  Take a look at our Top 10 facts from CRESR report about Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise in the UK.

1.  The sector is made up of  1,231 voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises

2.  70% are micro organisations (annual income under £10,000)

3.  £152 million the total value of the overall contribution of both volunteers and employees  to Oldham

4.  £102 million total income of the sector (2014/15)

5.  85% of organisations have at least one source of non-public sector funds bringing  significant added value

6.  47% of organisations now have less than 3 months of running costs in reserves

7.  37,000 volunteers (including committee/board members), giving 90,300 hours each week,  valued at £81.7 million per year

8.  3,400 total employees in the sector (2,200 full time equivalent paid staff) whose    contribution is valued at £70.7million per year

9.  94% have some direct dealings other VCSE organisations, 88% with Oldham Council and 61% with private businesses

10.  8 million interventions were made with beneficiaries in the past year

The full collection of reports can be downloaded from the CRESR website.  Click here to take a look.

Interested in finding out more about the future direction of Oldham?  Have a look at The Oldham Plan for 2017-2022.

Oldham Community Power share offer launch

OCP launch

Oldham Community Power are holding a share offer launch event on Sunday 12 June from 1pm to 3pm at Alexandra Park conservatory. Come along to find out how you can get involved in placing community-owned solar panels on the borough’s schools and community buildings!

There will also be a plant sale and seed planting on the day organised by IF Oldham in support of the Action Oldham fund.

More information about the event can be found here.

Asylum seekers networking workshop 11 May

You are invited to attend a networking workshop to explore how organisations in Oldham can work co-operatively to improve the welcome and support in the Borough for asylum seekers and refugees. This aims to build on the Borough’s proud tradition of supporting people fleeing persecution and conflict.

An emerging issue is the number of destitute asylum seekers and refugees. Some of these are asylum seekers who have not been given leave to remain and have no recourse to public funds, but others are people experiencing delays in accessing the support to which they are entitled – both asylum seekers waiting for their support payments, and refugees who have been given leave to remain but are left waiting for benefit payments to start to be paid.

A lot of support is already being provided by organisations, housing providers and voluntary, community and faith based groups. There may be opportunities to better co-ordinate, and build upon, this.  There is particular potential around developing community involvement in supporting refugees – for example in helping them to access services, secure volunteering opportunities, learn English.

Support for Asylum Seekers & Refugees – Networking workshop will take place on:

Wednesday 11 May 2016

6:00 – 8:00pm

The Performance Suite, Oldham Library and Lifelong Service

To book a place, please complete the booking form below:

Support for Asylum Seekers Refugees – Networking workshop booking form

 The event is being organised in partnership with Action Together (previously Voluntary Action Oldham).

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Virbai Kara on 0161 770 3274 or by E-mail: virbai.kara@oldham.gov.uk

Please see below links to Oldham Council’s viewpoints on its support for Asylum Seekers and Refugees:

 ITV Tonight

Is Britain Full? (Current affairs programme) http://www.itv.com/hub/tonight/1a2803a1034

NOTE: Fast forward to 18 mins.

https://oldhamcouncil.wordpress.com/2015/09/09/one-week-on-from-aylan-kurdi-what-needs-to-change/

100 apprentices in 100 days challenge

Oldham Vacancy Campaign

Calling all businesses!

On Monday 25 April, Oldham College are launching the 100 apprentices in 100 days business challenge, where businesses are encouraged to pledge the creation of apprenticeship vacancies in their organisation to increase the number of apprenticeships in the borough.

There are currently 700 young people, school or college leavers actively looking for an apprenticeship in Oldham, offering a significant potential workforce.

To support this campaign, Oldham Council will provide a grant to support the first 100 employer pledges with the costs of recruiting and supporting a young person in addition to the Greater Manchester AGE grant funding available.

Further information can be found in the linked document above, for further information about this opportunity please contact Oldham College on 0161 785 4330 or at apprenticeships@oldham.ac.uk.

Greater Manchester Walking Festival

The Greater Manchester Walking Festival is back for the second year this May, with over 200 free, guided walks taking place across all ten districts of Greater Manchester. Transport for Greater Manchester is leading the festival, supported by over 30 walking groups and charities who are delivering the walks.

The festival runs from Sunday 1st to  Tuesday 31st May and features some of the best walks in the region, all led by experienced and knowledgeable walk leaders. The festival aims to attract a wide audience, with walks catering for everyone from the experienced rambler, to families with young children, to those new to walking or considering it as an exercise to improve health or recuperate from an illness.

This year’s Greater Manchester Walking Festival is about improving peoples’ health, providing uplifting and stimulating experiences and encouraging everyone to notice and appreciate the green spaces on their doorsteps.  Come and join in a walk to find out how easy – and enjoyable – walking more can be.

Most walks are accessible via public transport and walks take place midweek and weekends, mainly in the daytime but with the odd evening walk too.   More details of the festival can be found  on the festival webpage here:

http://www.tfgm.com/walking/Pages/festival.html

 

A brochure featuring all of the organised walks can be found here:

GM Walking Festival Brochure 2016

Oldham Care and Support Christmas ring round 2015

Oldham Care and Support is set to ring up thousands of their helpline and response customers, many of which are vulnerable and elderly residents, to check they’re safe and sound.

The annual ring round started today (Monday, December 21) and continues until Christmas Day.

It will see various teams from Oldham Care and Support calling vulnerable and older people who may not receive any other services or support.

This year the Oldham Care and Support teams were joined by Oldham councillors and council staff who were giving their time to help ring round as part of the co-operative council approach.

Callers are speaking to residents to make sure they’re prepared for the festive period – for instance checking that their heating is working and that they have enough food and medicine.

It’s also a chance to reassure residents that they’re not alone over Christmas, and that the Helpline and Response line will remain open for 24 hours a day in case of emergencies.

Councillor Jenny Harrison, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Safeguarding, said: “This time of year can be really tough for elderly people, who may not be able to leave their home as it gets darker earlier or when it’s icy and cold.

“Also feeling lonely can be a huge risk to people’s wellbeing.

“The ring round is a great way to make sure that residents with limited mobility don’t feel abandoned. A simple phone call can make all the difference to make sure they’ve got enough to eat or that their home is warm enough.”

Enjoy Victorian Steampunk Saturday

Christmas shoppers will take a step back in time at Oldham Town Centre’s free Victorian Steampunk Saturday (December 19).

Christmas shoppers will take a step back in time at Oldham Town Centre’s free Victorian Steampunk Saturday (December 19).

All you have to do is roll-up, roll-up to enjoy side shows and magical street entertainment from 11am until 4pm.

Why not take a break from bagging last minute gifts and hop on board the beautiful pedal-powered flight of festive fancy that is The Flycycle Delivery Service?

Watch in wonder at the beautiful and the bizarre at The Palace of Curiosities, take part in Victorian circus workshops and be amazed at Festive Foxley, the merry magician on wheels.

Albot and The Gaslights will be there with their unique blend of music and comedy.

And remember to keep your wits about you as Dickens’ characters Fagin and Dodge will be there too getting into all kinds of trouble.

Plus free children’s face painting and Christmas storytelling takes place in Tommyfield Market Hall, which is also open now every day until Christmas Eve.