Community groups in Oldham are being invited to bid for funding for local projects that aim to make a difference in their communities.

Grants of up to £500 per project are available through the Rapid ROCA (Respect our Community Awards) run by First Choice Homes Oldham and its partners.

To apply for the grants, representatives from local community groups are being invited to attend a drop-in event at the housing association’s offices on Union Street on Tuesday 26th February between 10am and 7pm.

Vinny Roche, chief executive said: “First Choice Homes Oldham is always looking for ways to improve lives in Oldham. By offering a fund of up to £16,500 we aim to help community groups provide valuable services and support to local people.

“Groups do not have to be linked to one of our housing developments to apply. As long as the projects are Oldham based and provide benefits to local residents, they will be eligible. We are really looking forward to meeting group representatives at our open day and receiving applications.”

At the drop-in event representatives will be asked to complete a simple application form outlining the costs of their projects, why there’s a need for it and what the benefits to the community are.

Ideally groups should have a bank account already but start-up projects that don’t have one will not be turned away.

Projects supported in the past include Wood Square Residents Association, which was awarded £300 to help run its ‘Wooden Tops’ group, where local people meet daily for a chat, coffee and arts and crafts activities. Greenfield Cricket Club was also awarded £500 to update their kitchen facilities which had included a 50-year-old oven!