Social isolation and loneliness is a national priority and is equally so in Oldham with 10% of residents self-identifying as being lonely. That is why we made a commitment to work together to target the root causes of social isolation and loneliness in the Oldham Plan – a collective statement from organisations who serve Oldham, which explains how we can all best serve the place we love and help its people and places to thrive.
As part of this commitment, the Thriving Communities programme made a total fund of £850k available to fund up to five projects over a three year period that can enable people to become more socially connected.
Who can apply for the social action fund?
Applications are open to voluntary, community and faith groups/organisations working on their own or in partnership with others organisations (e.g. an alliance model of smaller or medium organisations).
Those applying will be able to demonstrate how their project can improve the lives of residents, show how the outcomes support the reduction on demand in the health and care systems, build community capacity to deliver the goals and priorities linked to the development of Oldham’s Integrated Care Organisation’s (ICO / Oldham Cares) transformation plan and meet the wider strategic objectives of the Oldham Plan.
Street Angels were awarded money to continue the already excellent work taking place in Oldham town centre on Saturday evenings and expanding into Friday nights. Teams of volunteers and medical staff are there to support those enjoying Oldham’s nightlife providing a listening ear, first aid and basic medical treatment as well as making sure people get home safely. As part of the programme, an evening drop-in and hot meals will be provided for people on the streets as well as future options for daytime support from the Street Angels centre.
Oldham Play Action Group and Wifi NW were also awarded money; the group provide all-age cookery courses to bring children, parents, carers and older socially isolated people together to prepare and cook meals. The groups, run by Oldham Play Action Group (OPAG) and Wifi North West, will also encourage people to engage in active physical play as well as organise community play street events to join neighbourhoods together.