A NEW ‘member’ is on the road to joining Oldham Mountain Rescue Team thanks to the fundraising efforts of thousands of shoppers.
The Saddleworth-based organisation needs to replace one of its fleet of life-saving vehicles at a cost of £65,000.
So, a cheque for £10,000, raised by Co-op shops across Oldham, Rochdale and West Yorkshire is a welcome windfall for chairman Justin Parkinson and his team of volunteers at their Greenfield headquarters.
Stores involved in the year-long fund-raising campaign were: Moorside, Delph, Uppermill, Grotton, Rochdale, Norden, Rooley Moor, Castleton, Honley, Marsden, Blackley and Cathedral Road, Chadderton.
Darren Ramsden, manager at Marsden, was responsible for co-ordinating the campaign despite his own shop being on the doorstep of Holme Valley Mountain Rescue.
“At the start of 2019, as an area of Co-ops, we decided to raise money for charity,” explained Darren.
“Store managers came together to decide which ones we wanted to focus on.
“As you can imagine the popular cancer and children’s’ charities were mentioned.
“But we all saw the fires on the moors and the work these guys had put in.
“So, we all agreed monies raised would go to Mountain Rescue. After that we decided to go for £10,000.
For the next 12 months all stores organised fundraising events including raffles, sponsored walks and the sale of OMRT merchandiseDarren added: “It’s been phenomenal to give £10,000 to the team.
“We are aware Holme Valley Rescue Team is based in Marsden but our cluster of stores predominantly serve the Oldham and Rochdale areas.”
Regional manager Alex Cunningham added: “All the stores have done a fantastic job alongside all of the other community work they have done.”
Justin and his team welcomed managers to their base at Boarshurst Business Park saying: “This money is a huge help.
“It would usually take us many months, if not years, to raise this amount. The money will be so beneficial towards a new vehicle.
“The current control vehicle has served the team well but is now over 15 years old and a replacement is needed.
“The affection and warmth from the community has been incredible. The Co-op is at the heart of our community so their efforts have been really fitting.”