Oldham Community Radio celebrates ninth birthday at First Place

A POPULAR community radio station celebrated its ninth birthday with a live outside broadcast on Union Street, Oldham.

Oldham Community Radio 99.7fm first broadcast on 17 March 2007 and chose to celebrate its anniversary by interviewing Oldhamers outside First Choice Homes Oldham, First Place.

Dave McGealy, Jodie Barber, Andy Powell
Dave McGealy, Jodie Barber and Andy Powell

They spoke to people involved in local projects which received funding from FCHO’s recent Rapid ROCA grant scheme.

ROCA was established in 2007 with the aim of building confident communities through providing financial assistance for projects that bring neighbourhoods together. Money is donated to the fund from FCHO and its partners organisations.

Twenty five Oldham community groups benefited from Rapid ROCA funding in 2016, with £9,791 was committed to projects and new ideas in the borough.

Adele Jein and volunteer Rob Wroe from community café Bean Good were first up, talking about the unique work they do, serving meals to people on low incomes with their buy-one-give-one-free premise.

Their grant from Rapid ROCA will pay for a freezer which will enable them to accept more donations from local supermarkets.

Andy Powell from the creative and digital hub, Hack Oldham, received funding for three projects – crafty hacks embroidery, bitchin’ stitching and a woodwork group.

He discussed the role of maker spacers worldwide, and the various activities going on for all age groups at Hack Oldham on Hardcastle Street.

Social enterprise Hack Oldham has since announced it is to move into Oldham’s new Digital Hub on Yorkshire Street and will provide low-cost and flexible workspace for entrepreneurs and new enterprises.

Jodie Barber, Senior Youth Work Manager at Oldham Council and ROCA Chair, spoke about ROCA and its partners who have supported the local community and over 190 projects, to the value of £440,000, since November 2007.

A grant was presented to residents from Holland Close in Delph

Members of Jubilee Colliery in Shaw spoke about their heritage project and plans for the coming year, and members of the Holland Close Residents’ Association Residents in Delph spoke about how their community gardening project brings together local people and how the Rapid ROCA funds will help them achieve this.

David McGealy of Oldham Community Radio said: “It was a fitting ninth anniversary celebration to spend the day talking to good people of Oldham who do some really interesting things.

“Thank you to all the staff at FCHO for making us so welcome and to all the Rapid ROCA recipients who spoke so passionately about projects. They are all a credit to Oldham.”

Dave Smith, customer first director from FCHO, said: “It was a real pleasure to have Oldham Community Radio celebrate their anniversary at First Place talking to Rapid ROCA recipients in depth about their activities.”

Find out more about First Choice Homes Oldham: www.fcho.co.uk/ or Oldham Community Radio: www.oldhamcommunityradio.com


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