All fall in for new military football team

A NEW football team is looking to earn its stripes after securing a start-up grant from a community funding scheme.E-Act Royton and Crompton Academy on Blackshaw Lane will be base for the project organised by Oldham Athletic Community Trust (OACT) and with its players comprising ex-military personnel.

An award of £1,000 towards starting the team has come from the Respect our Community Awards (Rapid ROCA), run by housing association, First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO).

It is one of 24 initiatives across the borough benefiting from a share of £15,633 in funding.

The OACT project will seek to support the individuals physically, mentally, and socially, enabling them to share experiences and support each other through sport.

Martin Vose, OACT Head of Community, said: “We are delighted to have been provided with the Rapid Roca grant, to the sum of £1000.

“The weekly football session will be about more than just a kick about.

“It provides a place for people to socialise on a regular basis with like-minded people and for them to come together as a group.

“It is really important for military veterans to get together to talk about their experiences and offer help and support to each other for the future.”

The veterans’ project will run every Monday from 6pm-7pm.

Other groups to receive funding include: Contact the Elderly, Real Change Oldham project and Rays of Hope.

Rapid ROCA was established by FCHO in 2007 and has supported more than 270 applications, giving out more than £445,000 in grants since its launch.

It aims to help local organisations that benefit the community and develop individual’s skills.

Vinny Roche, Chief Executive of FCHO, explained: “There is such a diverse mix of fantastic community projects happening across Oldham.

“We are so pleased to be supporting some of the amazing people who are making a real difference to the lives of others every day.

“Our team is really proud that we are able to provide financial assistance to help kick start new projects in the area and to give a boost to established initiatives to help them thrive and grow.”

Rays of Hope, a community group run by Bushra Shanawar, supports women from different cultures to come together, learn new skills, increase their confidence and make new friends. The project received a grant of £200.

She said: “This grant will help us to reduce social isolation in Oldham and integrate people from different cultures into the local community.”

Homeless organisation Real Change Oldham was awarded £1,000 to provide financial support to help homeless people secure jobs and accommodation.

An initiative to reduce loneliness and isolation in elderly people by staging free monthly tea parties was awarded £300.

The funding will enable visits to restaurants and other activities during the year, and Christmas or birthday gifts for those they support.

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