Community comes together through new app

DO you wish you could have local information about events, businesses and council services at your fingertips in just a few clicks? Well now you can thanks to a new community app.

Mooch Oldham was launched in March to bring together residents, businesses and the council in an easy, accessible and useful way.

The free app, available on Apple and Android, offers a business directory, what’s on listings, council services and information, hospital and health contacts, and much more.

The first app was launched in Oldham and is run by local advocate Karen Sykes, who has lived in the area for 18 years.

She explained: “Mooch was born out of lockdown by two Manchester-based small business owners Steve and Paul.

Karen Sykes

“Like many others, their businesses closed and so they had to look at how to carry on.

“They saw more and more people shopping online with big retailers instead of with their local small businesses.

“They wanted to do something so small businesses can have an online presence too without spending a fortune on an app or website.

“They found DiiD, based in London, and using their concept of a super app they launched the Mooch app.

“The app is user friendly, useful and all local to your area, and we’ve had great feedback about it so far from people using it.

“It will take time to build it up, especially with lockdown as we couldn’t get out to show people what it’s about.

“It will only get bigger and better the more people use it and we can see what they want to get from it so can develop it as we go along.

“It will help to bring residents, businesses and the council together which is only going to be better for the area.”

The app has also been launched in Bolton, Wigan and Trafford and there are plans to eventually launch it across the country. Each app will have its own advocate who lives and has an interest in the area.

Karen, who worked as a legal executive for 20 years before being made redundant in 2010 during the recession, said being advocate for the Oldham app is a ‘natural fit’ for her.

“After I was made redundant I joined my husband’s business and starting building and website and developing the social media,” she explained.

“Sadly the business didn’t survive but I had fallen in love with marketing.

“I joined Families Manchester magazine and then when this opportunity came along with Mooch, it was perfect.

“I am passionate about helping small businesses because I have been there and struggled. If there is a way I will help them, then I will do it.”

Karen also runs Mooch Small Business Support Group, open to any business looking to connect with others for advice and guidance.

• The Mooch Oldham app is free to download and use, and no personal data is stored or used.

To download the app to your Apple or Android device, simply scan the QR code or visit the Mooch Oldham Facebook page.

• Business packages are available for those wishing to be added to the directory, as well as get social media support, networking opportunities and events. Email Karen for more details:

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