THEY weren’t facing Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones and co,. but local groups were out to impress as they bid for a funding boost at a local Dragons’ Den event.
The annual event, organised by Saddleworth Rotary Club, sees groups present a pitch about the good work they do in the area, and what they need the extra money for.
This year, seven groups were selected by Rotary to present their pitches and receive a cheque at a special evening held at The White Hart, Lydgate.
Jon Stocker, chair of Rotary’s community committee who organised the event with honorary member Gill Bussey, was delighted to support the local area once more.
He said: “All the groups have been selected by Rotary Club to receive support for their organisations as they do great work to improve the lives of people in our community.”
Barbara Howse, Saddleworth Rotary Club’s first female President, added: “Rotary does a lot of work all over the world but this event is something I really look forward to as it allows us to help charities and groups locally.”
The groups presenting pitches and receiving cheques were: Saddleworth Carers; Grotton Residents Association; Positive Cycles; Saddleworth and District Ferret Breeders and Turnip Growers Association Affiliated; IMPACT; Oldham Mountain Rescue Team; and Lydgate Brownies and Guides.
Saddleworth Carers was set up nine years ago by Dr Eamon O’Daly, who cared for his first wife for six years as she suffered with Alzheimer’s.
Meeting on the second and fourth Friday of each month at the Sacred Heart Church Hall in Uppermill, the group is a lifeline for carers of those with dementia and other memory problems.
The free sessions provide support, advice, help with entitlements and much more, as well as a range of activities, talks, and two excursions a year.
Dr O’Daly said: “Carers come in all shapes and sizes and at all ages but all need help.
“There are facilities in Oldham but that is too far away for some of them to get to so it’s so important we can provide support locally.”
The group is run entirely by volunteers and relies on donations and support to continue. For more information call Dr O’Daly on 01457 810614.
Grotton Residents Association received funding to help tackle the troublesome leaves piling up around their Pavilion.
Alicia Marland, chair of the association for 17 years, explained that the leaves cause a slip hazard around the Pavilion but can’t be cut down due to preservation orders.
“Recently, a group had to stop using the Pavilion as it was too dangerous for their members,” she said.
“We want to top back the trees and prune them to quell the fall of leaves, and this money will really help as it’s an expensive job.”
The Pavilion is home to many groups, from Zumba and Weight Watchers to Art Groups, as well as parties, Whit Friday Band Contest and the annual Summer Gala.
Grotton Residents Association raises money to maintain and improve the facilities, as well as working in the local area.
Positive Cycles are aiming to get more Saddleworth people on their bikes thanks to the funding they received.
Darren Whiston and Martin Sutton set up the project in 2015 to deliver affordable bikes for all.
They take donations of old and unwanted bikes, fix them and clean them up before donating them – usually to young carers or ex-offenders – or selling them on.
Now, they are planning to hold two workshops in Greenfield and Uppermill to offer pop-up bike surgeries and free repairs to locals.
And they are also in the process of opening a shop at Tommyfield Market this month as an extension of their Union Street base as their popularity grows.
For more information call or to donate a bike: 0161 621 9400.
Meanwhile, the unique Saddleworth and District Ferret Breeders and Turnip Growers Association Affiliated were also recipients of a cash boost.
Laurence Perrins explained the association was set up in 1995 to raise money for Macmillan nurses who helped care for the wife of Rotarian Eric Buckley.
A themed ‘Rat Catchers Dinner’ was put on, and car stickers were sold at £5 to raise funds.
Since then, another event was held in 2001 and then a 20th anniversary dinner in 2015 as they continue to raise funds.
Now, with a Comedy Night fundraiser at the Royal George in Greenfield coming up, Laurence will use the funding to print more car stickers as he has run out!
He explained: “There is a cabbie down in London who has one in his car and we get requests from all over the world for the stickers, even from Australia!”
A cheque was also presented to Carita Smith who has set up IMPACT to support parents and carers of people with additional needs.
Carita has been running Funky Fitness and Fun, based at the Satellite Centre in Greenfield, for ten years to support people with additional needs, providing activities, support and fun.
But after talking to parents and carers who said they feel “overwhelmed”, “unsupported” and “alone”, she has launched the new group.
She said: “Parents and carers can often feel isolated so I just want to make sure there is someone there to give advice or meet up for a coffee if that’s what they need.
“We will offer information, advice, support, regular drop-in sessions and even legal advice.”
Money presented to Oldham Mountain Rescue Team will help them to train up some of their members to form a new water rescue unit.
Matt Neild, team leader, said: “We’ve been helping out a lot when we had flooding recently, in Saddleworth and nearby, but we’re not specially trained to do so.
“So, we decided to set up a water rescue unit in the team. The work we do is more than just working in the mountains and this will extend that even further.”
Money will go towards training seven members of the team, as well as buying dry suits, boots, helmets and boats, and they hope to be operational by this summer.
Finally, Lydgate Brownies and Guides are packing their bags for their next camping trip after it became a reality thanks to the funding from Rotary.
Susan Rook explained the money will enable them to buy tents for the trip, as well as continue their programme of activities and sessions.
She said: “Brownies and Guides helps girls lead a healthy lifestyle, celebrate diversity, discover ourselves and the outdoors, and also make friendships for life.
“Sometimes when they start with us they do not know how to wash a cup and saucer, but by the time they leave they can cook a three-course meal on a camp fire!”
Saddleworth Rotary club is one of 34,000 around the world and they raise money through fundraisers to support needs throughout Saddleworth and Oldham.
Find out more on their website: www.tsrc.co.uk