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Published: Tuesday, 25th August 2020

Oldhamers have a proud history of pulling together.

As a borough, we’ve been through a lot; from the devastation of two World Wars to the Shaw gas explosion and the Saddleworth Moor fires in more recent times.

In the spirit of Oldham’s famous suffragette, Annie Kenney, we’ve shown strength, resilience and community spirit in the darkest of days.

So as we together tackle Coronavirus, one of the greatest challenges we have ever faced, it’s more important than ever that we demonstrate those attributes we’re famed for.

That’s why we’ve launched the We Are Oldham campaign, to highlight the fantastic work taking place across our communities while also reminding people of the importance of standing united in the face of such adversity.

Councillor Sean Fielding, Leader of Oldham Council, said: “During the pandemic we’ve volunteered to make a difference, we’ve checked on our neighbours, and we’ve stayed home to protect others.

“But over recent weeks, the comradery many of us felt at the beginning of the pandemic feels as if it is being picked apart.

“The virus is circulating across the borough and yes – whilst it has recently affected some areas more than others – it’s not hard to understand why. 

“People living in these areas are more vulnerable. They’re more likely to work in higher risk occupations; they’re more likely to live in households with higher occupancy, and they’re more likely to be affected by poverty and health inequality – which sadly stacks the odds against you in all aspects of life.

“There’s no evidence to suggest people in those communities are behaving any differently to others. The majority in all areas are abiding by the guidelines. But, as we’ve seen with the increase in police calls about house parties, BBQs and raves, there are also those who aren’t.

“Sadly, racism, prejudice and hate is creeping up. We are seeing comments on our social media feeds and we are hearing of incidents of abuse on our streets

“It is absolutely unacceptable and we will not tolerate it. We will call it out and take action when we see it and we urge others to do the same.

“If you have been a victim of any type of hate crime please report it to the police. We cannot let people ‘get away with it’, and let me assure you that the people who spread hate do not represent the vast majority of Oldhamers.

“People from all backgrounds have helped us to fight back against this virus. We must continue to do the same - because we will not beat it divided.”

As part of the We Are Oldham campaign, we’d love to hear your stories, see your photos, and share your experiences of how the community is pulling together across our borough.

Please share your stories on social media, tagging in our Council pages @OldhamCouncil on Twitter and @LoveOldham on Facebook and using the hashtag #WeAreOldham. Alternatively, send your content and ideas to pressoffice@oldham.gov.uk and we can share on your behalf.


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