A RAPID cash boost of £500 is being offered to community projects across the borough by First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) and partners Rapid ROCA.
Groups can put in their bid for the funds at events on Tuesday 28 April from 6-8pm or on Wednesday 29 April 10am-12noon at FCHO’s new head quarters at First Place on Union Street.
Funds of up to £500 from ROCA are already available at any point throughout the year, and up to £5,000 with a more in-depth questionnaire.
But now Rapid ROCA has been introduced to open the funds to a wider audience with a simpler application process and a quick decision.
All applicants will be notified within three days of making a bid – by Friday 1 May.
Applicants will ideally already have a committee of members and a bank account but start-up projects that don’t will not be turned away from the events.
Bidders will need to fill out an application form at either of the sessions. Staff will offer advice and guidance and applicants will have the opportunity to discuss their idea over a brew.
Applicants will not be required to give in-depth financial information but must state what the funds will be used for, which has to be Oldham-based and benefit communities.
Dave Smith, customer first director at FCHO, said: “We’ve funded some really innovative projects since ROCA was founded seven years ago and some of them only needed a small amount of cash to get started.
“Who knows what could grow from a £500 cash injection. If you don’t apply, you’ll never know.”
ROCA has previously funded such diverse projects as community gardens, toddlers club, a community choir, arts clubs, an older persons’ friendship group and a knitting club.
Rapid ROCA will not be able to fund sports kits and political groups.
ROCA was established in 2007 by FCHO with the aim of building confident communities through providing financial assistance for projects that bring neighbourhoods together and develop individuals’ skills so that in turn those new found skills will benefit the diverse community of Oldham.
For your chance to apply to #RapidROCA just turn up at First Place at the drop in sessions. If you would like to discuss your application in advance please call Joanne White on 0161 393 5302, or email ROCA@fcho.co.uk