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Never Alone

‘Never Alone’ Initiative receives further funding from the Co-op!

In an effort to combat loneliness and isolation, Oldham Athletic Community Trust (OACT) launched the ‘Never Alone’ initiative at the start of 2021.

The initiative saw a 100 activity packs delivered to elderly residents last month, across six residential care homes and assisted living accommodation sites: Royley House Care Home, Oaklands Rest Home, Shaw Side Care Village, Longwood Lodge Care Home, Tandle View Court and Hopwood Court. Staff at the homes were really excited by the prospect of distributing the packs to residents, stating that they would really make a difference to the residents’ wellbeing during such difficult times.

The packs contained puzzle books and pens, a letter of support from the club, letters of encouragement from pupils who attend some of our partner secondary schools, and some bright and colourful drawings from local primary school pupils. The pupil’s letters let the elderly residents know that they are not alone, told them how the pupils themselves have coped with lockdown, and asked the residents about their lives both before and during the pandemic. We hope that these have conveyed the message that no one should have to face these difficult times alone, and that we are all thinking of those members of the community who may be feeling lonely until we are able to return to a sense of normality, which we hope will be fairly soon with the announcement of the government’s roadmap.

We are delighted to have received an additional £200 in funding through the Co-op in Royton, so we would like to send out a big thank you for their support. As a result of this additional funding, we are hoping to be able to deliver up to 50 additional packs to elderly members of the community.

Kavita Aggarwal, Royton Co-op Store Manager said: When my member pioneer, Trevor, mentioned the Never Alone initiative to me, it was a no brainier that this was something I wanted to get behind. What Oldham Athletic community trust were trying to achieve seemed to tie in perfectly with both the core values of the Co-op, and my own moral compass. It’s great to see what has been achieved so far, and I look forward to seeing the continued impact the £200 will make to the elderly members of the community at this unprecedented time in their lives.

In order to deliver these additional packs, we are asking for additional support from our local schools in the form of letters from secondary school pupils, and drawings from primary school pupils. Ahead of our dedicated matchday against Cambridge, we want to thank the schools who have supported us so far on the Never Alone project. Our packs for the elderly wouldn't have been the same without the schools letters and pictures.

Holly Grimes, NCS Manager at OACT, who has been leading on the initiative said: "We have been overwhelmed by the response to this initiative, and we’re really grateful for the engagement we had from schools to make this possible. That pupils went to the effort to write letters in their own time is testament to the community spirit here in Oldham which has helped us all get through the pandemic, and we hope this will have a real impact on the residents as we hopefully near the end of restrictions."

If your school would be interested in taking part in this initiative by writing letters, or if your residential care home would like to receive these activity packs, please get in touch at enquiries@oact.org.uk