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Charity says thanks to volunteers in Oldham

(left to right) The Salvation Army's Family Worker Kim Rogers, Major Estelle Blake and volunteers of Oldham Fitton Hill.

A charity is celebrating the Oldham community spirit thanks to the support it receives throughout the year from a team of volunteers.  

The Salvation Army’s church and community centre (corps) in Oldham Fitton Hill, located in The Brew on Fir Tree Precinct, has a number of volunteers offering help and has seen an increase in helpers recently due to a rapid rise in people from the local community seeking support. 

Major Estelle Blake, leader of The Salvation Army in Oldham Fitton Hill, said: “Volunteers form a very special part of our church and our programme and we’re so thankful to all of them, the support they provide is fantastic and we couldn’t continue to do the work we do without them. 

“Volunteers help us to make sure the work we are able to give and the programmes we are able to run happen, but more than that; they change us as a result. They bring ideas and inspire and challenge us to be better. Volunteering isn’t just about helping out; it is about being an active and integral part of any organisation and for us it is key to the level of support that we can give to the people of Oldham.” 

The Salvation Army in Oldham Fitton Hill is proud to boast more than 20 volunteers, who are split between supporting the church and community centre across a number of departments and occasions including the emergency food provision, baby club, during the Christmas period and also a local community project which works in partnership with the corps, Real Education Empowering Lives (REEL).  

Lisa, 40, from Oldham, is mum to a two-year-old and gives up a couple of hours a week to volunteer for The Salvation Army.

She said: “I love volunteering, it makes me feel good to know that I am helping people. It’s totally different to what I’ve done before, I used to work in the care sector but now sort donations, help with groups or just be a listening ear to someone that needs it.  

“The Salvation Army was a big support to me when I had my daughter during the first lockdown. I want to give something back to them and to help those in the local community that may be struggling. With volunteering, every day is different, and it works around me, it fits into my schedule, which is key for me and my family.” 

Oldham is also home to another Salvation Army corps, Oldham Roundthorn, located on Roundthorn Road. This is also supported by an Army of volunteers.

Around 15 people give up their time each week to help the church leaders run the services they offer to the local community including a foodbank which has seen referrals increase as the cost of living crisis continues. 

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