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News from Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale - Autumn 2012 - Issue 8

Housing Renovation Help to Unearth the Past Free Autumn Events Community Action in Middleton

Inside p3 Housing Renovation Trainees start new project in Rochdale p4 Help to Unearth the Past Are you interested in local history? p5 Free Autumn Events Take part in our Shaw & Crompton events p6 Learn ‘something new everyday’ Pete talks about how Groundwork has helped p7 Community Action in Middleton Gain skills and more on our latest short-course p7 Sign up as a Volunteer Find out about local events and opportunities

We l c o m e This latest issue brings news of some new projects and opportunities as well as the personal recollections of someone who has taken such opportunities in the recent past. Also highlighted are some seriously impressive landmarks on just one of our initiatives - The Prince’s Trust Team programme. There have been many other achievements of which we are equally proud as Groundwork enters its 30th year - a time that we want to celebrate. I invite all readers to share with us any of your experiences of working with us in the past but also to let us have new ideas about how we might make our 30th year extra special - perhaps a challenge or competition for local residents, organisations or schools, the outcome of which might be celebrated as we reach our 30th anniversary in October 2013. Enjoy your reading and please do get in touch. Cliff Ellison Executive Director

Images Front and above left: We’ve been working with residents of Mencap Cotton Fold to transform their garden. Above: A selection of historic Groundwork images - more to follow on our Facebook page!


Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale On The Ground | Autumn 2012

Tr a i n e e s s t a r t h o u s i n g renovation project in Rochdale This autumn Groundwork is starting an innovative housing project, to bring empty homes in Rochdale back into use, whilst providing training for unemployed learners. Our Housing Refurbishment programme, delivered in partnership with Rochdale Council and Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, will see 16 homes brought back into use over a 3 year period. Across Rochdale there are currently around 4,000 empty homes, many of which are falling into a state of disrepair. With an increase in the level of homelessness and house building at an all time low, this programme aims to increase affordable housing within the borough.

We will be working with landlords who have void properties in need of refurbishment. The houses will be renovated by local trainees who will gain skills, experience and recognised qualifications as part of the programme. Following refurbishment, each property will be leased for 10 years and marketed on the Rochdale Council Choice Based Lettings scheme, with priority given to those in greatest need. Teresa Jennings, Operations Director at Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale, said: “This programme builds on our established void property trainee projects already being delivered in Rochdale. Over the course of this programme we aim to help 64 local unemployed learners get the skills and experience needed to find employment or further training.� Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale On The Ground | Autumn 2012


Help to unearth the past in Oldham “This site is one of the few remaining examples of Oldham’s industrial mining heritage”


Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale On The Ground | Autumn 2012

We’ve got a brand new project that is looking for 12 unemployed people to learn, train and gain skills whilst creating a local heritage legacy. Jubilee Colliery: Unearthing the Past is a programme aimed at rediscovering local heritage through archaeology, community engagement and learning. The Jubilee Colliery was built in 1845 by the Edge Lane & Dryclough Colliery Company to gain access to the Mountain Mine coal seam that runs under the area. The site was purchased by Platt Brothers & Company Limited in 1883 who developed the site by building coke ovens. These ovens were used to turn coal mined from the site into coke that could be used in their iron works in Oldham.

From desk-based investigations, to hands on archaeology and community development work, Jubilee Colliery: Unearthing the Past will provide real project experience in many areas. The group of Heritage Volunteers will rediscover Jubilee Colliery under expert guidance and relay their learning to hundreds more through community engagement activities. Lili Briggs, Project Officer, said: “This site is one of the few remaining examples of Oldham’s industrial mining heritage and is the most accessible site in the area. Jubilee is important as it provides an ideal location to explore and share the story of Oldham’s industrial past. This is a great opportunity

as it will increase the skills, experience and employability of those involved and provide the wider community with a greater understanding of their local history.” Jubilee Colliery: Unearthing the Past will start on 30th of October and is open to any unemployed person interested in heritage. The project will run from Tuesday to Thursday each week for a duration of 12 weeks with those involved working towards an ASDAN qualification in Community Volunteering. The first community event will be held on the 1st of November 2012 at the Jubilee nature site. For more details or to get involved contact Lili Briggs; or call 0161 624 1444.

Come along to our Autumn events in Shaw & Crompton We’ve teamed up with Shaw & Crompton Parish Council to provide a series of free monthly events with the aim of encouraging more people to use their local green spaces. This Autumn take part in woodland fun at Dunwood Park, build new habitat homes at Jubilee and make your own natural Christmas decorations.

F a m i l y F u n i n t h e Wo o d s Sunday 14th October 2012 (11am -3pm) Dunwood Park, Smallbrook Road, Shaw, Oldham, OL2 7UR Come and explore the woods and discover what lives in and under the trees. Find out about this important habitat and take part in fun activities including insect and scavenger hunts.

Homes for Mammals, Birds and Invertebrates Sunday 18th November 2012 (1-3pm) Jubilee Nature Site, take the track to the left of Jubilee Inn, Milnrow Road, Shaw, OL2 8BL Find out more about our local wildlife and how to help them survive the winter. Make a variety of homes for the nature site and to take home to your gardens.

Natural Christmas Decorations Sunday 9th December 2012 (12.30-3.30pm) Community Room at Dunwood Park, Smallbrook Road, OL2 7UR Join us to make Christmas decorations to take home using natural materials gathered from the local woodland.

Funded by Big Lottery Awards for All, these events aim to connect people to their environment and encourage all ages to use their local green spaces. Please register your attendance in advance as places are limited. For more details or to register contact Suzanne Walton; or call 0161 624 1444

Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale On The Ground | Autumn 2012


Learn ‘something new everyday’ with Groundwork Oldham resident, Pete, has completed three courses with us. Here he talks about his journey and how Groundwork has helped...

I knew of Groundwork through my involvement as a volunteer previously but didn’t know how to contact them or if they could help.

A motto I learnt from my grandfather many years ago was “learn something new every day”. I didn’t really understand this motto as I was only a child.

Then I saw an article in the local paper offering training for the unemployed, who should it be but Groundwork. I made a call in January 2012. I have now completed three courses with Groundwork; Introduction to Volunteering, Community Volunteering and Countryside Skills. I have also acquired my First Aid certificate for First Aid at Work.

After many years of successful working in a sales career I suddenly found myself unemployed due to very personal family circumstances and the stress of a highly pressurised work environment. I had a breakdown. I was informed by my GP that I could no longer pursue my career as this would lead to a complete and irreversible breakdown. I lost confidence in myself and became angry and disillusioned, thus compounding my illness. I had to change my way of life and the career I was going to do. I had no formal educational qualifications or diplomas in any field apart from selling.

Through Groundwork I am once again working within my local community as a volunteer and progressing further in my re-education, learning something new every day, many thanks grandfather, Groundwork, friends, family and the community. What more can you ask for, a job perhaps! I am still learning but can see the possibilities to achieve my goal. Thanks again Groundwork and may you succeed in all you set out to do.

I had volunteered within my local area as a ranger on a local nature reserve working with the kids of the neighbourhood and my immediate neighbours. But through the regeneration of the local housing and lack of funding this unfortunately ceased.

Pete is one of over 1,000 individuals who benefit from Groundwork opportunities in the local area each year. Changing lives is our focus and helping people to get their life on track brings satisfaction to everyone involved with Groundwork.

After many years of medication, family support and sheer determination, which I had learnt in the military in my formative years, I embraced a new motto “be the best you can be”. I chose to come off the medication and get myself back on track.

We need employers in the local area to work with us to provide real-life work-placements to people like Pete. A work placement gives the participant an opportunity to gain work experience and a recent reference to help them apply for jobs and find work. If the organisation you work for can provide a short placement for Groundwork trainees we would love to hear from you.

I remembered my days as a volunteer and thought that was one of the happiest times of my life and decided I would like a job working in the community and environment. However, I had no training.


Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale On The Ground | Autumn 2012

Please contact Carly Kirby; call 0161 624 1444 or email

News in Brief Community action in Middleton Are you looking to improve your skills and get qualifications to help you find work or training? Want to meet new people and do some good in the local area? Take part in our new 6-week voluntary short course based at Burnside Community Centre near Middleton. The free course starts on Monday 5th November and will take place three days each week. For more details or to register please contact Liane Kirk; or call 0161 624 1444

Schools grow for the future Groundwork is currently working at Harwood School in Heywood and Hodge Clough School in Oldham to create food growing areas within the school grounds. This follows similar projects at a number of local schools to establish school allotments and teach pupils about food growing and healthy eating. We will soon be uploading a set of free guides to our website to help teachers (and individuals) grow their own food.

Te a m c e l e b r a t e s landmark achievements We’re celebrating after reaching a number of impressive landmarks on our long-standing personal development programme for young people. We’ve now delivered 100 Prince’s Trust Teams in Rochdale, over 200 Teams in total and 3,000 young people have benefitted from the programme. We’re hosting a celebration event at Hopwood Hall College (Middleton Campus) in October and our latest Team will be starting on 22nd October at the same venue.

Sign up as a Groundwork volunteer Be one of the many people who volunteer with Groundwork each week. We have opportunities to suit everyone; from a few hours at weekend, to a voluntary short course with qualifications. We aim to bring people together in a fun environment whilst doing positive work in the local area. If this is something you’re looking for then give us a call on 0161 624 1444 or sign up online

Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale On The Ground | Autumn 2012


Contact Us Give us a call - 0161 624 1444 Visit our website - Connect on Facebook - GroundworkOldhamRochdale Follow us on Twitter - GroundworkOR View pictures on Flickr - GroundworkOR Watch videos on YouTube - GWOR30

Cliff Ellison Executive Director Teresa Jennings Operations Director Claire Igoe Senior Coordinator Phil Treaton Land & Design Manager Rob Glenn Work & Employability Manager John Davies Youth & Communities Manager

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 over 25 years of experience working with partners to deliver successful projects in the Oldham and Rochdale area. Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale, Environment Centre, Shaw Road, Higginshaw, Oldham OL1 4AW Charity number: 514726 Company number: 01762088

On The Ground | Autumn 2012 This newsletter was produced in-house at Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale. Thank you to all contributors.

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On The Ground Autumn 2012  

Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale's Quarterly Newsletter - Autumn 2012 edition. This issue includes details of our new housing refurbishment proj...