Rapid ROCA grants boost Saddleworth groups

FOUR COMMUNITY projects in Saddleworth have been boosted by generous grants from this year’s Rapid ROCA scheme.

The scheme, established in 2007 by First Choice Homes Oldham, provides funding for local organisations that bring neighbourhoods together and develop individuals’ skills.

This year, £19,486 was awarded to 41 projects as cash grants after judges looked at 71 applications to pick out the most worthy recipients.

Sarah and Carol from Greenfield Cricket Club

Greenfield Cricket Club received £500, which is being used to update their kitchen facilities.
Carol Smith said: “We were absolutely thrilled to receive the money. We traced our old oven back to be over 50 years old and it’s used for the community so needed to be changed.”

Just down the road at Wood Square, residents were awarded £300 for their new ‘Wooden Tops’ group which meets daily for a chat, coffee, and arts and crafts activities.

The Wooden tops in Greenfield

Sandra Winterburn, who came up with the idea of the group, said: “We’re very pleased to get the money and we will use it to get things together for our new arts and crafts activities.”

Another £500 was presented to Diggle Band, who will use the money to buy new instruments and attract new members to their popular ranks.

Robin Bissell, band member, explained: “We wanted the money to buy some instruments so that non-players or new players can test drive them to see if it suits them, then hopefully join one of our bands.

Members of Diggle’s trainer band (picture thanks to Jackie Clowes)

“We are always looking to recruit new members. We attract a lot of good, young players but inevitably they grow up and move on elsewhere.

“We are keen to build up a good relationship with Diggle School as they promote brass playing to their pupils very well and we want to work together on that.”

For more information about Diggle Band or to join, contact Robin Bissell on 07811 212 660 or Anne Colley on 07840 898187.

Charlie Middlewood, a volunteer and treasurer of ‘The Friends of Saddleworth Museum’ managed to secure £450 for the Museum, which will buy a badge maker for activities.
Cat Jessop, a Learning Officer at the Museum, said: “We now have a wonderful new piece of equipment for visitors to use during our activity days.

Charlie and Cat from Saddleworth Museum and Gallery

“Over Easter families who attended our ‘Museum Makes’ day made badges featuring the museum logo and recently pupils from St Thomas Primary, Werenth enjoyed making a badge during their visit.

“We are very grateful to First Choice Homes Oldham for awarding us the grant and hope visitors to the Museum will enjoy making a badge to remember their visit.”

Jodie Barber, Chair of ROCA Panel, said: “This Year’s Rapid Roca proved to be even more popular than last year, with a significant increase in applications.

“These small cash grants will make a huge difference for people who will benefit from an interesting and wide range of activities that improve the communities and lives of all involved.”

There is no date set for the next round of funding but it will be advertised online: www.fcho.co.uk

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