Thriving Communities Fast Grants, case study – Chadderton Together – £500

The funding was awarded to help support an ongoing programme of tea dances in Chadderton Town Hall. The events help to promote social inclusion, reduce isolation and loneliness and encourage everyone to maintain physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Most participants were from North and Central Chadderton, but an increasing number came from outside the local area. Word of mouth meant that people from Hathershaw and Middleton also attended. A total of 370 benefitted from the tea dances held.

The dance programme was varied and allowed those with limited dancing ability to receive some informal tuition.

The programme has made a positive difference for many of the participants, who have enjoyed a social activity in a supportive environment. The programme has helped to increase the range of events and activities available to those living in the local community. However, more needs to be done to avoid clashes with other activities as participants have occasionally had to choose what they attended.

The programme will continue throughout 2020 as funding has been awarded to Chadderton Together from Forever Manchester.

Thriving Communities Fast Grants, case study – Springboard – £500

Springboard is a Dementia support group for people who have dementia and their Carers. They were successful with their application to create a male calendar in the style of “Calendar Girls”. The idea for the calendar originated at a Springboard meeting when one of the helpers was trying to sell calendars which Housing 21 had produced featuring older women. One of the male attendees jokingly said you should have done a male calendar and they would have sold more calendars.

It was decided that it could be used to promote positive body images and raise money for Springboard and Prostate Cancer UK (some of the attendees have had prostate cancer) they were willing to take part.

In total ten people volunteered to be involved and be photographed for the calendar. All ten were actively involved in the theme, design, and distribution of the calendar. The calendar itself has travelled many miles and has even been sent as far afield as America and Australia. The calendar has been a good conversation starter and has helped to raise awareness of dementia and living positively with dementia as well as the importance of early screening for prostate cancer.

The funds raised from the sale of the calendars has been equally split between Springboard and Prostate Cancer UK.

Thriving Communities Fast Grants, case study – Glodwick Wanderers – £500

Glodwick Cricket Club wanted to set up a walking group “Glodwick Wanderers”. The initial aim of setting up the walking group was to help the local community to become healthier and to raise the profile of the Cricket Club.

Glodwick Wanderers did their first walk on the morning of Monday 5 November 2018. The group now has 10 regular walkers. In the Summer of 2019, the group introduced a Monday evening walk to coincide with the Junior Cricket matches, this was to encourage people who were unable to join the morning walk due to work commitments, etc. to join the group. The people attending the organised walks are not just from Glodwick but also come from other areas within Oldham.

Some of the walkers felt socially isolated prior to joining the Glodwick Wanderers, but the group has brought people together and created new friendships. Other benefits reported by the group members include; improved health and wellbeing, feeling more knowledgeable about Glodwick and the surrounding area particularly the history of the area.

The group now plans to install permanent heating in the Clubhouse in the Spring of 2020. This means they will be able to offer the Clubhouse as a facility for the wider community to use from Summer 2020.

Thriving Communities Fast Grants, case study – Hoyas Basketball Club – £500

The club now has four successful teams, who last season won every league they played in. Forty children have benefitted from being part of the Hoyas Basketball Club. As well as being more physically active by learning to play basketball in a safe environment, the children now have a sense of being part of a (basketball) family, have learnt social skills and team working.

The only thing currently holding them back from even greater things is that their coach Adam does not have enough spare time to support more teams. When asked if there were any plans to do anything else in the community? Adam said “Yes (I have plans), but I work fulltime and cannot afford to give up any more of my time. I would love more teams”. When asked how we could help with those plans? Adam jokingly said, “Pay me a fulltime salary”, so if anybody is willing to pay a fulltime wage so Adam can support the Hoyas Basketball Teams more please get in touch with him.

Thriving Communities Fast Grants, case study – Violet Hill Court – £250

The tenants hold a regular games afternoon on a Thursday and had previously had access to a Housing 21’s Kurling set. Violet Hill Court wanted to purchase their own Kurling set as the Housing 21 one was often in use by other housing schemes.

Kurling has been very popular and is helping the tenants to be more active. Prior to the purchase of the Kurling set, the tenants would sit and play Bingo. The games afternoons are thriving and are especially busy on the damper days.

Most of the 52 tenants at Violet Hill Court have benefitted from using the Kurling Set. It has enabled them to Socialise and be more active which has helped them to improve their physical and mental wellbeing as well as helping to reduce social isolation.

Social Action Fund launches with the aim to reduce social isolation

Social isolation and loneliness is a national priority and it’s no different in Oldham with 10% of residents identifying as being lonely, which has a detrimental impact on health outcomes, quality of life and life expectancy for those people.

That is why Oldham Cares’ Thriving Communities programme has made £850k available to fund up to five projects over a three-year period that can help reduce this.

We invited applications from projects which would:

  • Tackle social isolation in Oldham
  • Be transformational/innovative either in the delivery approach or the system change made within the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) or with the public or enterprise.
  • Improve the mental health, physical health and wellbeing of people in Oldham
  • Support a reduction in the pressure on health services
  • Take a strength based approach to working with people

We received more than 20 applications from voluntary, community and faith groups/organisations with ideas ranging from cookery courses for parents and children to support on how to set up your own social groups.

The Oldham Cares commissioning partnership board awarded funds to five projects:

The Oldham BAME Consortium is a new partnership bringing together five community groups to develop three neighbourhood hubs which will focus on reaching out to the isolated Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities.

A programme of activities will be developed in consultation with residents based on community need such as information and advice, physical activity and wellbeing, befriending and peer support, food and nutrition, skills and education.

Wellbeing Leisure[1] will partner with community groups to provide physical activity and health and wellbeing opportunities. It will also offer opportunity for volunteers to learn skills and gain qualifications in health and fitness.

Oldham Play Action Group and Wifi NW – All-age cookery courses will 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.

Street Angels will grow 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.

Groundwork will lead a new partnership of organisations to bringing a variety of new activities to venues across local communities, using growing and food to increase healthy outcomes and connectedness across the borough. As well as enjoying all that is on offer, participants will be supported to develop, plan and sustain their own social groups around their hobbies and interests.

Councillor Zahid Chauhan, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said “We had an overwhelming amount of interest to our social action fund. This highlights all the amazing assets and ideas we can harvest within our communities.

We have made a real commitment to tackling social isolation and loneliness in Oldham and are looking forward to working with our successful applicants to make a real difference to residents’ lives.

Notes to editors:

[1]Wellbeing Leisure is a wholly owned subsidiary company of Oldham Community Leisure focusing on VCFSE development

Fast Grants applications reopen to improve local communities

Do you have a great idea on how to improve your local area? Oldham Cares is once again inviting residents and communities to come forward with their suggestions as the applications to receive Fast Grants reopen.

With amounts available from £50 to £500, this funding, which is designed to bring communities together, could be spent on anything from encouraging your local community to be fit and healthy to running a Play Street activity in your neighbourhood.

More than 70 community organisations have already received grants since the scheme first started in September 2018.

Successful projects include an East meets West dress making course run by the Fatima Women’s Group and the building of a Chinese dragon for Spotlight Theatre’s next production – Aladdin.

Breathe Easy, a support and advice group for people with breathing difficulties, was also awarded a grant to continue to communicate with their members.

And it was time for tea and celebration for Chadderton Together after they were awarded a Fast Grant to continue running tea dances for older adults at Chadderton Town Hall – a lifeline for residents who enjoy socialising with new friends.

Councillor Zahid Chauhan, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “We’ve already had some really good success stories come from this funding and we want this to continue.

“These funds are available for the benefit of Oldham, so if you have an idea on how you could improve your area, we would love to hear from you. The application form will only take five minutes of your time to fill out, so what are you waiting for?”

The Fast Grants have again been made available through the Thriving Communities programme which focuses on building on the strengths that already exist within our communities.

Applicants can apply for a Fast Grant by visiting or by emailing if you have a question about the fund.

Fast Grants will be awarded throughout the year and applications will be reviewed on a fortnightly basis.

Success for Oldham at the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnerships awards night

Read all about Oldham’s success at the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership Awards here:

Just what the doctor ordered: Ground-breaking Oldham health check extends to mental health

Oldham is setting out a vision to improve the health and wellbeing of residents through the launch of the ground-breaking Oldham Health Check.

Councillor Zahid Chauhan, a leading local GP and Oldham Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, is explaining the plans – thought to be the first nationwide to specifically target more vulnerable groups such as the homeless and veterans – to an audience of health and social care professionals today (June 13).

The initiative aims to build on the existing free national NHS Health Checks, which see GPs inviting people aged 40-74 without a pre-existing condition for checks to identify their risk of developing a heart or circulation problem in the next decade, plus tailored advice and management plans.

Oldham now wants to extend its offer much further through a new Oldham Health Check from April 1,2020.

This will have a targeted approach to our more vulnerable residents and, for the first time, it will not only test for cardio-vascular issues but will also seek to detect and address mental health issues with patients: identifying if they are feeling down, depressed or isolated, and taking action.

Cllr Chauhan said: “The NHS Health Checks were an important milestone in public health nationally – now we want to take that approach even further in Oldham.”

“We know our population well and have pride in our duty to taking a proactive approach in tackling unacceptable health inequalities and deprivation.

“In an increasingly diverse, fragile and disconnected society we must be agile and innovative in how we create a holistic service that better reflects the changing health and social care needs of each part of our borough.

“From 2020 the Oldham Health Check will work with primary care providers targeting local residents most at risk, and delivering better and earlier interventions.

“The addition of mental health as an equal priority is key to this. We know that around 10 per cent of our residents self-identify as being lonely, so the new Oldham Health Check will seek to identify those affected and help them with a community-led approach, including social prescribing.

“This is part of our significant commitment to mental health in Oldham which has seen us invest in a wide range of initiatives to provide lifelong support with partners across the borough.

“Our intention here is clear. We believe that anyone in Oldham – with the right support to combat mental health issues like anxiety, social isolation and depression – can lead the life they want and deserve to live, and we’re determined to do all that we can to make that happen.”

Across Oldham improvement and change in health and social care is being delivered through Oldham Cares: a one system approach bringing together Oldham Council, NHS Oldham CCG, general practitioners and other health and social care providers and the Voluntary, Community, Social, Faith and Enterprise sector with each sharing their skills, experience, talent and resources.

Dr Carolyn Wilkins, Chief Executive, Oldham Council and Accountable Officer, NHS Oldham CCG, said: “The Oldham Health Check can be a step change for residents’ health and wellbeing prospects.”

“This is a key part of our whole system approach to delivering better experiences and outcomes.

“Each area of Oldham already has its own geographical health and social care cluster with partners from all sectors working side by side in an unprecedented manner tailoring a working model that reflects needs in that specific area

“The Oldham Health Check aims to get higher numbers of appropriate patients put onto care pathways for diagnosed conditions through better and earlier interventions, and deliver significant increases in referrals to lifestyle or other support services, including social prescribing, for people experiencing mental health issues.

“By working with primary care providers we can proactively target and invite those people who are most at risk to attend a check in the next five years which can be hugely beneficial for the homeless, veterans and other vulnerable groups.

“We’re supporting this commitment to quality and better outcomes by structuring our health check payments to reflect the various levels of intervention offered, and linking them to recorded patient outcome data and appropriate onward referrals. This will enable us to continually track, monitor and improve results – and make changes to improve the service

“The Oldham Health Check will help us take local provision to a new level – empowering more residents than ever before to make better choices that will measurably help them to improve their health and wellbeing.”

If you would like more information on how to receive a health check visit:


Oldham Cares supports National Carer’s Week

Oldham Cares acknowledged unpaid carers who provide support across the borough to a family member or friend, as part of Carers Week.

There are an estimated 24,000 carers in Oldham caring for people with a disability, mental or physical illness, or who need extra help as they grow older.

The national theme was “Getting Carers Connected” and aims to connect carers to:

  • Advice and information
  • Services
  • Friends and family
  • Others, including carers
  • Technology

We supported this year’s theme by hosting two events to help carersaccess a range of advice and information, services and other carers.

The Carers Fun Day, was on Thursday 13 June at Oldham Leisure Centre from 10am- 2pm, and was an opportunity for carers, and the person they care for, to find out more about the support and services available through a marketplace of local organisations. There was also be fun and games for carers to enjoy together including table tennis, badminton and crazy golf as well as a tombola and a raffle

Attendees were joined by the Mayor of Oldham, Councillor Ginny Alexander who is also a carer herself.

On Friday 14 June there was another opportunity for carers to socialise, they were invited to “Bring your dog to the park day” from 11am-1pm at Chadderton Hall Park. Carers took a walk around the beautiful ornamental gardens, stroll through the woodlands and wandered along the river before enjoying refreshments at the park’s café. Dogs were optional.

Councillor Zahid Chauhan, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care said “We are proud to support National Carers’ Week. It is a time for us to recognise the mostly unseen, but essential work that dedicated carers are doing everyday.

“We’ve put these events on to show our appreciation and to give a little something back. I would encourage all carers to take some time for themselves and enjoy what is on offer.”

If you would like more information about the week please contact the Carers Team, Carers 0161 770 7777 or email

For more information about support for carers visit