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This Summer, Oldham Athletic Community Trust (OACT) have worked with local primary school, Rushcroft, to ensure that upon their return to school pupils have an exciting new outdoor area to utilise.

The partnership comes as part of an extension to the hugely successful Food For Thought initiative, which across a variety of different ways focused on providing food/food sources to families through the Covid-19 lockdowns. This featured the collection, and distribution, of over 15,000 food items prior to Christmas along with thousands of pounds worth of supermarket vouchers donated to families in need.

This summer’s partnership with Rushcroft Primary will now provide children with the opportunity to grow their own food, increasing their own education around food production whilst also providing the local community with the opportunity to access fresh produce when grown.

Martin Vose, OACT Head Of Community, commented: “It was our pleasure to work with Rushcroft Primary to assist with this particular project. When I initially met with school staff and understood their needs I was extremely excited to help, throughout Covid-19 OACT have continued to work with innovation and this is just another example of this. We pride ourselves on engaging with our local schools & community in unique ways, responding to need and working collaboratively to solve issues.

Traditionally our engagement with local primary schools takes place within the classroom, sports hall and/or playground so this was very much a new one for myself but I am certainly looking forward to seeing the children enjoy this area for many years to come -  I have seen myself the transformation.

I'd like to say a huge thank you to Trevor Bowskill for his support of the project, as well colleagues at Action Together, Co-Op Community Fund and ROCA”

Due to local funding Oldham Athletic Community Trust was able to provide Rushcroft Primary School with over £3,000, which helped to:

  • Provide a new indoor potting shed, enabling children to take part in activities throughout all weathers;
  • Provide a new tool shed, to keep any equipment safely secure when not in use;
  • Provide 3 timber planters, in which children can grow food and create a wild garden;
  • Provide new picnic benches for children to use as a rest bite area.

Gillian Kay, Executive Headteacher, added: “The quad area has had a much-needed makeover and now looks fantastic! There is now much more space for the children to move around in and the children have already been asking me when they can go in there and start using the planters to grow flowers, fruits vegetables, poppies for remembrance and much more. We also look forward to welcoming our community of families into the area when it gets established. A huge thanks to Oldham Athletic Community Trust for making this happen."