We are pleased to announce that our Community Building work in the Oldham area is expanding.

First Choice Homes (FCHO) have commissioned Forever Manchester to deliver a new community building programme in four areas of Oldham to support residents in connecting their own neighbourhoods from the inside out by identifying the strengths and skills they already have within their communities.

In 2011, Forever Manchester piloted our Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach in Oldham. Our work in the area was noticed by First Choice Homes (FCHO) and in 2013 our Community Building team delivered a series of one-day ABCD workshops. These were funded by FCHO through its New Innovations Fund.

The recent commission from FCHO follows the positive outcomes of this pilot project. FCHO’s Lisa Brown has now been seconded to work on the project alongside Forever Manchester’s Senior Community Builder, Helen Smith, who has been working on the Neighbourhood Works pilot since 2011.

Lisa will be working in central Oldham (St Mary’s, Barker Street, Coldhurst, Burnley Street and Egerton Street), which has the potential to benefit up to 1,600 homes.

There are various goals and expected outcomes for this project including:

  • Mobilising residents who don’t typically engage with community activity
  • Increasing connections outside of the neighbourhood
  • Identifying hidden assets
  • Engaging and supporting residents with ideas to increase community activity
  • Increasing activity at local community facilities
  • Improving the sense of community pride through resident led projects and activities

Nick Massey, Chief Exec said: “As a Community Foundation, Forever Manchester is in the business of building stronger, self-directing communities. Our legacy will be measured not by how many grants we award, but by the increase in the number of people newly involved in community activity, mutual support and collective community planning. We believe getting individuals to positively help each other and recognise what they have and make use of, is the future of more sustainable and connected neighbourhoods.”