By Andy Lloyd
Photography by www.PicturefulOfMemories.co.uk/ Pictureful of Memories
THE Mayor of Oldham Cllr Ginny Alexander has visited a host of groups and organisations across the borough in another busy week of engagements.
The week started very positively with a trip to Trinity House, which is one of six extra care housing schemes in Oldham for the over 50s.
The Knit and Natter Group have been making blankets for the homeless, which the Mayor will pass on so they can be distributed where needed.
The ladies have previously knitted donations for Dr Kershaw’s Hospice, and are currently working on memory pillows.
Highlights of the visit included the indoor Memory Garden and the Memories Room.
The Mayor said: “This wonderful indoor Memory Garden is just stunning. They are able to change it seasonally thanks to interchangeable back drops. Such a tranquil place to sit and relax.
“Many tenants use this room and are able to relax and feel more at home, particularly when the stresses of Dementia get too much.
“It was so beautiful seeing all these people, now good friends, living together as a community and everyone plays their part.”
Another visit saw the Mayor attended the graduation ceremony of students at The Oldham Academy North.
Certificates were awarded to students for various topics including humanities, science, IT and maths, and the school choir entertained.
The Mayor said: “I told the children they can make their dreams come true if they work hard enough. They can do whatever they want in life as long as they reach for the stars!
“The cheer the students gave me made me feel so welcome and proud. Thank you for inviting me to this special event. The students are a true credit to their families, teachers and communities.”
The Mayor also had the honour of handing out awards for Oldham Council’s Long Service to recipients who have served 25 years with the council.
The recipients were Kathryn Brennan (Social Worker), Audrey Greener (After Care Worker), Julie Bridges (Court Support Officer), Helen Kostyk (Children’s Social Care Placement Coordinator), Simon Moore (Schools ICT Technician) and Sean Newberry (PFI Technical Officer).
Cllr Alexander commented: ‘’We are proud of you all and salute you for your hard work and commitment.’’
The Mayor described her visit to The Blue Coat School Oldham’s Founders Day Parade, as “one of the proudest moments of my mayorship so far”.
The day celebrates founder and hat manufacturer Thomas Henshaw, who died in 1810, leaving £40,000 for the endowment of The Blue Coat School. The school was opened in 1834 as a boys’ boarding school, before evolving into the mixed gender academy it is now.
To mark the anniversary, the procession started at the school and walked to the Oldham Parish Church.
Ex-pupil Timothy Young played the Last Post in tribute to the ‘Old Scholars’ who fell in the two wars. Students placed wreaths at the side of the church on the Blue Coat memorial grave.
There were readings by staff and pupils and a sermon delivered by Rev. Katy Cunliffe. The service concluded with the national anthem
The Mayor commented: “This school is a really brilliant, community-oriented asset to our town.”
Just a few days later, she was once again impressed by talented young people as she was asked to give out certificates at MP Debbie Abrahams’ Summer School.
The Mayor declared: “It was a privilege and an honour. It was so good to see students and partner agencies working together in politics and looking at how it all works.”
The week finished with a trip to Grange Theatre Oldham to watch The Little Shop of Horrors performed by BritTheatre.eu.
“Wow what a fantastic performance by everyone!” said Cllr Alexander. “We have so much talent in Oldham and it is something we need to keep shouting about.”