A TOTAL of 18 local charities and organisations have shared more than £7,000 courtesy of Saddleworth Parish Council chairman’s charity.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the final amount raised by outgoing chairman, Councillor Jamie Curley, and his committee was £3,000 less than had been hoped.
But Cllr Curley, the chairman’s lady Debbie Curley, and treasurer Mike Fielding have still been able to distribute £7,200.
Cllr Curley said: “We had hoped to give several large donations to a few local charities.
“However, with the overall fund being reduced and charities being limited in their own fundraising we spread the money a little further.
“In total, we had 18 charities in Saddleworth and Oldham we wanted to support.
“They do so much great work in our community all year, every year and we wanted to recognise as many groups as we could.”
Cllr Curley, who still sits on the Parish Council and is an Oldham MBC representative for Saddleworth South, added: “Meeting so many fantastic, active groups during our time as chairman and chairman’s lady made us realise how dynamic our community is and how much is done by volunteers.
“I know they will bounce back when we are allowed back to normality and hopefully these donations will help them continue through 2021.”
Mrs Curley added: “We had a number of special events planned to round off the year.
“We were all particularly looking forward to a Manchester Ship Canal cruise organised by Jenny Begley which had sold out. Sadly, we had to cancel everything immediately.”
Mike said: “We reckon with the pandemic stopping all fundraising events in March 2020 we were at least £3,000 short this year. So monies allocated to the charities unfortunately had to be reduced.”
Monies raised during the tenure of the Parish Council chairman are usually distributed prior to the annual general meeting at Uppermill Civic Hall in May.
Due to the pandemic this wasn’t possible and a later small, socially distanced event repeatedly had to be placed on hold.
So the trio decided to distribute funds without further delay.
The chairman’s charity committee is a voluntary group which has raised £65,000 over the last five years for local groups.
The latest groups to benefit are: Bright Futures School, Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, Oldham Mountain Rescue Team, Samaritans Oldham and Rochdale, Maggies Oldham, Nicola Hughes Memorial Fund, SSYCA (Satellite Centre), Age UK Oldham, Chatty Café Scheme, YCW, Saddleworth Village Olympics, Saddleworth Male Voice Choir, Saddleworth Musical Society, YOLO, Diggle Diamonds, Saddleworth Mental Health, Samantha Jones Trust, Funky Fitness and Fun.