Working with residents and communities

Since we launched our Co-operative Oldham ambition in May 2011, we’ve been working together with residents, staff, and partner agencies to give people more opportunities to shape how services are run, how decisions are made, and what happens where they live.

Fulwood Nature Reserve

We’ve given a group of local people control of Fulwood Nature Reserve in Sholver to help improve the site and open it up to the community.

In 2012, a local community group called the ‘Fulwood Rangers’ were granted a peppercorn lease on the site for 30 years. By transferring the site in this way, we’ve enabled this group of nature enthusiasts to transform the previously run-down site.

They’re creating community allotments, shared gardens, a refurbished nature reserve, and outdoor sports facilities for the local community, all funded through a £45,000 grant which was secured through a partnership with Groundwork – money which the council would not have been entitled to access, and which is now transforming the site into a great community resource.

Fair Energy Campaign

Oldham Council is committed to campaigning for a fairer deal for Oldham residents. As fuel costs rise and family incomes fall, we’re doing our bit to help Oldham’s residents secure affordable energy through our Fair Energy Campaign.

In collaboration with our partners iChoosr, Oldham led the largest local authority-led switching scheme in the UK. In all, the auction is deemed to have saved residents over £1.4m, meaning an average saving per household of £171. Of the 8,726 residents who registered 1,200 accepted an offer and switched. This represents 14.5% of the total.

The council also received a fee for each resident who switched through this campaign and we are reinvesting this money to support projects that help support local people out of fuel poverty.

The collective switching auction proved popular and the next one was led by Oldham on behalf of Greater Manchester. Oldham is at the cutting edge of innovation and leading the way in using its position to secure better outcomes for residents, particularly in tough economic times.

Action Oldham Fund

The Action Oldham Fund (AOF) provides grants to projects designed to promote health and wellbeing amongst residents and support unemployed people in to work. Through the reallocation of dormant trust funds and a variety of fundraising initiatives, the AOF enables us to invest in innovative community ideas that deliver lasting and sustainable benefits for local people.

By utilising our partnerships with key parties across the public, private and third sector the fund provides the flexibility and support to allow local communities to engage in social projects within their area. Through the AOF, we aim to bring added social, economic and environmental benefits to communities across our Borough.

Meals at Home - Chadderton pilot

The Meals at Home pilot is a partnership between Oldham Council and the Pavilion Café in Chadderton, and is funded through the Chadderton District Partnership. This co-operative initiative sees the Council working together with local businesses and volunteers to provide hot meals to elderly and vulnerable residents.

  • The Meals at Home Plus pilot provides an alternative to the existing frozen meal service and aims to:
  • Deliver a freshly prepared hot nutritious meal to the home once a day
  • Reduce loneliness and social isolation amongst the elderly through the daily contact with Meals at Home volunteer

Ensure that the additional support or care needs of the elderly or vulnerable are identified
The initiative aims to provide a tailored service through asking the customer for information about their food preferences, including dietary or cultural need, eating times, portion sizes etc. This provides a much more flexible and bespoke service than is currently available.

Volunteers are currently being recruited to complement the service. The volunteering opportunities include delivering the meals to customers homes; making the customer a drink, getting cutlery or serving the meal; spending some time chatting with the client if they would like company while they eat their meal.

In addition to a comprehensive training and induction programme for the volunteers including Health and Safety, the volunteers will be given additional training which includes listening skills and learning how to be an effective ‘eyes and ears’ in the community, as well as what to do if they think the customer needs a bit of extra care or support.

Strategy, Partnerships and Policy team

For more information about Co-operative Oldham contact the Strategy, Partnerships and Policy Team.