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Issue 11 - Summer 2013

Mandale Park BMX Tr a c k

Help us celebrate our 30th anniversary

New Work Skills Job Club


Welcome We hope that you will enjoy reading our latest newsletter. This edition not only gives an update on some of our projects but it also provides some advice and guidance on how to get involved in volunteering.

p4 Help us celebrate Join our 30th anniversary event

It’s also good to read about the experiences of local people who have recently been involved in the many opportunities offered and read their personal thoughts on what they have gained and the difference it has made. It’s been a great pleasure saying ‘Thank You’ to the volunteers who regularly contribute to our success and the difference we make locally.

p4 A snapshot over the past 30 years of changing places changing lives

For Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale, volunteers continue to play a vital role in the life of the charity, much as they did when we first started in 1983. We are extremely grateful to the many volunteers who give up their time to volunteer with us – whether that’s improving a public space or making life better for local people. Groundwork offers all volunteers the option of completing an accredited qualification and gaining next steps support such as help with their CV. Anyone interested in volunteering at Groundwork should call 0161 624 144 or visit

p7 Changing Lives: Danielle Team programme success story

2013 is for Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale a special year as we celebrate our 30th Anniversary in October. We have some special events planned to lead up to the anniversary. Please get in touch if you can share any special experiences of being involved with Groundwork. So enjoy the summer and enjoy reading about the achievements and opportunities provided here at Groundwork! Vicki Devonport Executive Director Follow me on Twitter @GwOR_Vicki



Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale On The Ground | Summer 2013

p6 Mandale Park BMX Track Work finished on track refurbishment p6 New Work Skills Job Club Support to secure employment

p8 Help Groundwork Find out how you can help

Did you know over 60% of our staff come from Oldham or Rochdale? Q Gardens in June

Q Gardens in July

Get growing in Rochdale The Q Gardens community food growing project in Rochdale is really taking shape and gaining support from local residents and groups. Groundwork continues to run weekly volunteer sessions on Wednesdays and through this work, the site at Queen’s Drive, Kirkholt, has seen a massive transformation. In only two months volunteers have planted a fruit orchard with apple, pear and plum trees, and growing on the ground are strawberries, rhubarb, herbs, salads, potatoes, cabbages, runner beans, broad beans and peas.

The fresh produce will soon be put to good use as part of a series of healthy cooking workshops that will also be run at the site. If you live in Rochdale and would like to get involved you can attend the weekly volunteer sessions from 11am to 3pm every Wednesday. Come for as little as one hour or stay for the full day. Tools, safety equipment, brews and fresh fruit will be provided! For more details contact Gemma Russell; or call 0161 624 1444.

Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale On The Ground | Summer 2013


Help us celebrate our 30th birthday You’re invited to join us on Friday 13th September for a special celebration looking back at both the history of Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale and the Environment Centre building. The Environment Centre is the headquarters of Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale. The Grade II listed building was built in 1866 and was formerly the Higginshaw School from 1870 to 1983. As part of Heritage Open Days, we’re inviting ex-students of Higginshaw School and members of the public to come and find out more about the life of the building. You will be able to take part in a guided tour, hear from some of the people who attended the school and learn about the history of the building. 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale. As part of this important landmark we will also be celebrating the achievements and impact of Groundwork over the last 30 years. Join us and learn more about our work, look back at some of our important achievements and share your memories of Groundwork in the local area. We’re keen to hear from anyone who has had a connection to Groundwork, either as a past staff member, volunteer, participant on one of our projects or a local resident who has benefitted from our work. We would love to hear your Groundwork or Higginshaw story even if you can’t make it on the day. If you would like to attend or have a memory you would like to share with others please contact Stuart Brierley; or call 0161 624 1444.


Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale On The Ground | Summer 2013

30 years of changing places changing lives in the local area...


A local business gains a Brightsite National Award


Street Party and our 21st anniversary


Oldham Mayor planting wild flowers with local children


Volunteers clear vegetation at Kingsway ponds


Refurbishment finished at the Environment Centre


Community Day at Boarshaw Clough, Middleton


HRH Prince Charles visits the Environment Centre

2009 2006

Dirty Dozen clean up campaign sweeps across Oldham

Volunteers from across Oldham and Rochdale


A company teambuilding day at Jubilee Nature Site

Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale On The Ground | Summer 2013


Benefit from our new Work Skills Job Club Do you need some extra help with finding employment? Do you feel that you are not getting much response from job applications? Do you need to brush up on some important work skills?

Mandale BMX Track Update We’re delighted to announce that the improvement work at Mandale Park BMX track in Rochdale is now complete. The transformation has included re-shaping and surfacing the old trail with the addition of new features and jumps. Volunteers have also been working to lay deadhedges around the site and reseed the grass slopes at the side of the track. It is hoped the new BMX track will appeal to novice riders as well as more experienced riders. Groundwork has been working with local riders and the project has been supported with funding from United Utilities, Transform Your Patch and Carillion.

Celebrate the work of volunteers You’re invited to join us at one of our upcoming Final Presentations. Listen to volunteers talk about their time on Prince’s Trust Team and Volunteer Project Assistant (VPA) programmes. These presentations will give you an insight into what it’s like to volunteer with Groundwork and what you will get out of it. The presentations are usually followed by a buffet lunch where you can speak to the volunteers and ask them questions about their experience.


Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale On The Ground | Summer 2013

If you answered yes to any of these then you may find our new Work Skills Job Clubs very useful. We have helped hundreds of people get ready for work and find job opportunities related to their skills and experience. By completing this 4-day training course you will: • get up to date with I.T. and Universal Jobmatch • learn your rights and responsibilities • discover job search techniques and positive behaviours • prepare for interviews and learn about employer expectations • gain advice and guidance with careers, C.V. and applications • take part in transferrable skills sessions. The Work Skills Job Club runs every two weeks, is free to anyone claiming benefits and we will also pay for your travel expenses. For more details or to join contact Toni Summerscales; or call 0161 624 1444.

NEWS IN BRIEF: Team up to make a difference Take part in our new Practical Countryside Skills course starting on Tuesday 27th August. If you’re looking to volunteer outdoors, improve your conservation skills or make a difference to the local environment then this is the course for you. The Practical Coutryside Skills course will improve your skills, provide you with a nationally recognised qualification and give you voluntary experience to add to your CV. As part of the course you will be carrying out improvement work to nature sites – learning whilst helping to improve the local environment. The course lasts for ten weeks and will take place three days per week (Monday to Wednesday), 10am to 3pm. For more details or to join contact Matthew Lynwood; or call 0161 624 1444.

Changing Lives: Danielle

Aged 16 to 18 and looking for something useful?

An important focus of much of our work is that we’re changing people’s lives in a positive way. Here’s a recent example…

Groundwork has lots to offer local young people. If you’re looking for an exciting challenge, specific training, work experience or support finding a job, we can help. For more details contact John Davies; or call 0161 624 1444.

Danielle, aged 16 and from Oldham, was bored, spent too much time in bed and was on the verge of being kicked out of her supported accommodation. She decided to join Groundwork’s Prince’s Trust Team programme as she realised she wanted to improve her confidence, meet new people and do something with her life. Danielle liked the sound of the Team programme and the many benefits on offer.

Volunteers thanked for valuable support We’ve recently said a big thank you to the thousands of people who have worked on Groundwork projects over the last 30 years. Volunteers continue to play a vital role in the life of the charity, much as they did when it first started in 1983. This year more than 150 people have already volunteered with Groundwork and over 60 people have pledged their support as volunteers via the Groundwork website. Read about our grateful appreciation of volunteers on our blog

“The course stopped me being lazy and got me in to a good routine. I’m soon starting a YMCA course before going to college in September doing Performing Arts. The Groundwork Prince’s Trust Team programme is really good as it helps you develop your key skills. It is a very friendly course – all the staff are dead nice and helpful and I would recommend the course to other young people.”

Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale On The Ground | Summer 2013


Help us to change places and change lives As a charity we are increasingly dependent on the kindness of others to help us change places and change lives. We gratefully receive donations of money, materials and tools from both individuals and businesses. This year we have received donations from companies large and small including B&Q, B&M, Crown Paints, Gordon Riggs Garden Centre, Granger Games, Iceland, market traders at Tommyfield Market, Park Cakes, Tesco, Wickes and Wilkinson. Since April this year, individuals have donated over £1,600 to young people fundraising for local Prince’s Trust community projects. In May, Oldham resident Tawnia Norman ran the Edinburgh Marathon in support of Groundwork, raising cash for a community garden in Oldham. In July, Rochdale resident Pauline Massey donated a collection of unwanted tools for our volunteers to use on gardening projects. There are many ways you can get involved and help: Spread the word – about our work in the local area Volunteer – on an environmental or community project Donate – money or materials to local projects

Contact Us

About Us

Give us a call - 0161 624 1444

Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale helps people and organisations make changes in order to create better neighbourhoods, to build skills and job prospects, and to live and work in a greener way. We’re a registered charity with 30 years of experience working with partners to deliver successful projects in the Oldham and Rochdale area.

Visit our website - Read our Blog - Facebook - GroundworkOldhamRochdale Twitter - GroundworkOR Flickr - GroundworkOR

Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale, Environment Centre, Shaw Road, Higginshaw, Oldham OL1 4AW

YouTube - GWOR30

Charity number: 514726 | Company number: 01762088

Landscape Institute Registered practice

On The Ground Summer 2013  

Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale's Quarterly Newsletter - Summer 2013 edition. This issue includes details of our 30th anniversary celebration,...

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