OLDHAM Athletic Community Trust is extending its ‘Never Alone’ initiative, in conjunction with Latics, after receiving funding from The Ideas Fund.

Never Alone focuses on providing activities for those either currently retired or approaching retirement, providing a social environment using the power of football to engage and socialise.

Across six sessions the group will combine watching and discussing historical Oldham Athletic football matches along with utilising local parks to stay physically active through scheduled group walks.

In addition, following the project launch at Boundary Park on Tuesday October 19, the group will be invited to watch Latics take on Walsall in their League Two clash (kick-off 7.45pm)

Martin Vose, OACT Head of Community, commented: “We are excited to continue our never alone project and thanks to the Ideas Fund being able to further enhance the initiative.

"We aim use the power of football and physical activity to bring together a community of individuals to form a social group.

"We will take a look back in time at Oldham Athletic matches from years gone by, creating opportunities to talk and discuss life events that link into that games.”

The project will be split over two sections, with the first project schedule being:

October 19th – project launch at Boundary Park. Prior to the Oldham Athletic v Walsall fixture we will watch an historic Oldham Athletic fixture before staying as a group to watch the following Sky Bet League Two match.

October (date TBC) – physical activity opportunity.

November (date TBC) – an opportunity to watch an historic Oldham Athletic fixture at Boundary Park on a non-matchday.

November (date TBC) - physical activity opportunity.

December 7th – an opportunity to meet as a group prior to the Oldham Athletic v Tranmere Rovers fixture at Boundary Park.

December (date TBC) – Christmas celebration.

In total, nine projects have been granted funding totalling £319,000. They are Pennine Mencap, The Proud Trust, New Bridge Group, Oldham Libraries, Get Up & Grow, Oldham Athletic Community Trust, Oldham Coliseum Theatre, Renaissance Oldham CIC.

Anyone who would like more information on the programme, or would like to register, should email Peter.Boase@OACT.org.uk.

The Ideas Fund has recently announced the 42 projects it will be funding following the first round of grant applications received earlier this year where the initial round received a total of 146 applications. The projects feature a broad range of topics from sport, nature and nutrition to issues faced by disabled, refugee and LGBTQ+ communities.

In what is a new grants scheme, run by the British Science Association and funded by the Welcome Trust, it enables the UK public to develop and try out ideas that address problems related to mental wellbeing through collaborating with professional researchers.

Oldham Athletic Community Trust, in conjunction with Oldham Athletic, is supporting academics at the universities of Leeds and Reading, and have successfully been awarded a grant from The Ideas Fund enabling an enhancement the Never Alone provision.