National Lottery funding awarded to get more people active through football in Oldham

THE sum of £447,995 has been awarded to Oldham Council to use football to boost the activity levels of residents.

An exciting new programme from Sport England, funded by the National Lottery, and delivered by the Football Foundation will support targeted communities in West Oldham to get more active.

Active Through Football is providing Oldham Council, on behalf of a consortium of local organisations – which includes Oldham Athletic Community Trust, Action Together, ForHousing and the West Oldham Trust – with revenue funding to increase participation in football.

The consortium went through a competitive process to secure the funding which was open to a shortlist of areas across the Country where we see some of the greatest inequalities preventing communities being physically active.

The project will be targeted at people aged 16 and above, specifically those on low incomes, the unemployed, people from ethnically diverse communities, women and girls, and those whose mental wellbeing would benefit from their involvement in this type of project.

By focusing on a specific area in the borough, football will be used as a medium to bring people together, creating a common purpose and shared values, as well as supporting more people to get active by removing some of the common barriers to participation.

This will be done by investing in and working with community groups and voluntary organisations who are best placed and already have trusted relationships with the residents the project hopes to reach.

Councillor Zahid Chauhan, Cabinet member for health and social care, said: “This project is fantastic news for Oldham and our residents.

“Football helps to break down barriers and this funding will help us reach out to some of our more marginalised communities who, through no fault of their own, sometimes face various barriers to being active. Thanks to this project they’ll be given real opportunities to get involved in the sport as players, volunteers and coaches.

“We want all our residents to be fit and healthy and this project will deliver physical and mental health benefits, while also helping to create a real sense of community.”

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