THOUSANDS of pounds have been handed out to the Mayor of Oldham’s chosen charities, groups and organisations earlier than usual to help them through the coronavirus outbreak.
Traditionally, the grants are donated at the end of the mayoral year in May after the Mayor has raised the money over 12 months of events and fundraisers.
But outgoing Mayor Cllr Ginny Alexander has decided to award the money sooner to help local causes combat the detrimental impacts of the pandemic.
Cllr Alexander explained in a message on her Facebook page: “Along with my husband and consort Adrian Alexander and my team in the Mayor’s Office, I have decided these extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.
“That is why I have broken the norm of waiting until the official end of my Mayoral year to distribute charity funds.
“Over the next few weeks I will be donating large amounts of money from my Mayoral Appeal Fund to local organisations and charities that need it most during this really harsh time we are all facing.”
The first amount donated was £1,000 to Action Oldham Fund, specifically to their Oldham Covid-19 Emergency Good Neighbour Aid fund to help them serve the community through the pandemic.
Another £1,000 has been given to Pennine Pen Animal Rescue so they can continue to care for the animals in their facilities. The Mayor donated a hamper for the charity to raffle and raise further funds.
RSPCA Bury Oldham branch also received £1,000 and hamper to raffle so they can continue to look after animals, provide food, bet bills and medication.
£1,000 and a hamper was also donated to Dr Kershaw’s Hospice in Royton, which provides care and support to people living with or affected by life limiting illnesses and their families.
They are continuing to support the local community when they need it the most by ensuring their clients and loved ones receive excellent care in their own home as they approach the end of life.
The Mayor added: “My thanks goes out to each and every person who has donated anything to my Mayoral Appeal Fund and also to those continuing to donate and support my charities. You have made such a difference.
Meanwhile, the Mayor also joined Shaw teacher and dedicated fundraiser Steve Hill MBE at the Royal Oldham Hospital Children’s Unit to donate a hamper, for which she received a colourful thank you card.
The unit officially opened on December 3, 2012 and the hard working staff have helped it flourish.
The Mayor commented: “It was so great to meet the team there. They really are the heroes of our society and I could not have been prouder to be in their presence, albeit through socially distant measures.
“I hope this hamper can provide just a little bit of happiness in these troubling times. Your card for me certainly brightened my day!
“I would also like to thank the phenomenal Team Hill Charitable Trust for their donations of essential items to those in the Children’s Unit, especially parents staying there throughout this crisis.”
Keep up to date and read about further donations on the Mayor’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/themayorofoldham