COMMUNITY groups and businesses are throwing their weight behind the campaign to raise money for Oldham’s emergency community response to coronavirus.

Some £23,585 has been raised since the campaign went live at the start of April with the money raised going to local groups and charities in in the town to help them continue providing support to the most vulnerable during the ongoing crisis.

Some of the support seen so far has included food parcels for the most isolated, activity packs for residents of all ages, and important PPE for the health care sector.

A video involving those who have contributed to the fundraising as well as groups who have benefited can be seen here.

Council bosses say there has been a huge breath of support from across the Oldham’s voluntary and community with so many new mutual aid groups being established – many of them benefitting from these emergency donations – and there is still chance for other businesses and residents to donate to help those most in need.

A donation can help to provide telephone advice, support and companionship for older people to prevent them from feeling isolated during self-isolation, or it could help a local foodbank to provide food parcels to more homes than ever before.

By donating, the public could also help a community group to support local people by enabling them to help pick up people’s prescriptions and run small errands.

To donate to support groups and charities in Oldham visit the Action Together Just Giving page:

Laura Windsor Welsh, strategic locality lead for Action Together which is co-ordinating the fundraising effort, said: “We would like to thank all those businesses, partners and people who have already donated. All the money raised has already begun to be distributed to local groups and charities in Oldham, we’ve managed so far to make 43 small grants to Oldham groups to help them continue to provide vital community support.

“So far, the fund has helped to provide food parcels and meals for vulnerable people, helped people in local hospices, hospitals and care homes to stay in touch with their families, friends and the outside world to reduce social isolation and much more.

“With the support and generosity of people in Oldham we can improve the lives of local people even more. If you can give at this time, please give locally and donate to your local campaign or maybe organise a virtual fundraising activity following the stay home, stay safe advice.”

Cllor Arooj Shah, deputy leader of Oldham Council and cabinet member for community safety, said: “There are so many mutual aid groups set up at this time of crisis and a big thank you to all of these.

“An emergency helpline and distribution network has been up by the council, working with Action Together and Oldham Foodbank and this is only one part of a massive community network which is making sure that everybody who needs support receives. The emergency fund will help ensure that resources are available to all community groups."