OLHDAM's housing provider has been spreading Christmas cheer by hosting a festive lunch for some of their customers to enjoy.

First Choice Homes Oldham's (FCHO) seasonal celebration, which took place at their Union Street offices saw residents from its independence service join support workers for a delicious hot meal, festive tunes and the chance to socialise with others.

Bosses say they recognise that as winter approaches, older people can become particularly vulnerable as cold, wet weather increases their risk of contracting illnesses and becoming socially isolated; especially for people who live on their own.

They are also less likely to be able to provide a hot meal for themselves on a regular basis.

Chief executive Vinny Roche said: “Not only have we been able to thank some of our customers with a Christmas treat, the event has given us the opportunity to provide a meal and some company during the colder months.

“Our guests have had a fantastic time and we feel privileged to have been able to spread some joy while making a difference to their lives over the Christmas period.”

Kelvin Greenwood, an FCHO resident who attended the event, said: “What an amazing day. I’ve not attended anything like this in such a long time, and I’ve been really looking forward to it. I even had my hair cut especially.

“The food was excellent and everybody was talking and getting to know each other. I had a really good time.”

The event, which coincided with International Volunteers’ Day, involved food which was served by volunteer students from New Bridge Group. New Bridge students regularly volunteer in the onsite café, The Atrium, as part of their employability pathway and citizenship skills development.

They also got involved by making handmade wreaths, paper chains and other decorations to make the event as joyful as possible. Sue O’Hara, a neighbourhood officer at FCHO also donated festive balloons to decorate the room.


Notes to editors

• The guests consisted of older users of our Independence Service which is managed as part of our Community Impact offering

• FCHO has been in partnership with New Bridge Multi-Academy Trust since 2016 to provide volunteering opportunities for students aged 15+

First Choice Homes Oldham is formed for the benefit of the community and is a not for profit housing association. FCHO began trading as a Registered Provider on 7 February 2011 with 11,867 properties transferring from Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council (OMBC) on that date. On 1 August 2014 the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Consolidation Bill was approved by Parliament and from this date FCHO is no longer governed by the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 and is now registered as a Community Benefit Society (registration number 31138R) with charitable objectives under the Co-operative and Benefit Societies Act 2014. FCHO is regulated by the Regulator for Social Housing. Registration number is 4582. FCHO have a Board of Non-Executive Directors which is made up of between eight and 12 members who oversee the overall running of the company.

For more information, contact Molly Burton, Marketing and Communications Business Partner on 0161 393 5563 or email molly.burton@fcho.co.uk