Oldham Street Angels get helping hand with meals

The Oldham Street Angels get a helping hand with freshly cooked meals for the vulnerable courtesy of the Revolve Café at Oldham Leisure Centre

The Oldham Street Angels, who more typically can be found volunteering on the streets supporting revellers and the night time economy, have expanded their provision since lockdown and are now offering hot meals to feed the homeless and those in need.

With leisure centres forced to close, the Oldham Street Angels have been given a helping hand with freshly cooked meals courtesy of the Revolve Café at Oldham Leisure Centre.

Donna Shaw, Coordinator and Development worker for the Oldham Street Angels says: “As the night time economy closed, the Oldham Street Angels gradually started to help the community in a different way, offering hot meals, hot drinks and toiletries the vulnerable may need. Our volunteers are now providing a takeaway hot meal on Wednesdays between 2 - 4pm and Saturdays between 9pm – 11pm.

“But the last few weeks have become really challenging. We are now in a new lockdown and have lost a lot of our donations. We have managed to keep going through generous individuals and companies, helping us to provide 200 meals a week.”

Mark Woodcock, Project Officer for the Oldham Active Communities Project, run through Oldham Community Leisure, says: “Prior to lockdown we ran a regular session at Oldham Leisure Centre, the Friday Club, which helped to combat loneliness. As we can only currently run the Friday Club virtually, we have been looking at the most effective way to use some of the funding we allocate to run this club in our centre to the wider community. We felt it would be a great idea to offer some freshly cooked meals to the homeless and to those would really benefit.”

Mark Woodcock and the OCL team have been collecting the raw food ingredients, whilst the Oldham Leisure Centre cooks, Brenda and Lesley, have been preparing wholesome and filling meals for the Oldham Street Angels to distribute. This weeks’ meal was a delicious cheese and onion pie with vegetables.

Woodcock continues: “Oldham Community Leisure has been very supportive of ways to engage with the community at this difficult time and want to continue to help out, even when our centres remain closed. We are very lucky that members of our team, such as Lesley and Brenda, are happy to volunteer and help to build strong community partnerships. It’s a real collaborative team effort.”

Donna concludes: “We are so grateful to our volunteers and partners, including OCL. We are committed to help those in need, and we are humbled by the Oldham community spirit, helping us to help others.

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