By giving a just a little you could help a lot. That’s the message behind Real Change Oldham – a pioneering new initiative aimed at helping people in the borough who are homeless or at risk.
Real Change Oldham will support some of the most vulnerable residents and give them practical support to cover essential costs needed to help end or prevent their homelessness. It does this by combining donations from the public to buy bigger things that make a longer term difference to people’s lives. By purchasing items through local charities, it also ensures funds are spent on the things which matter when the person has the support in place to make the most of it.
Residents and businesses can do their bit to help by going online and donating on the website at www.realchangeoldham.co.uk
There are no overheads to the Campaign, which is a partnership of local groups and people who have experienced homelessness for themselves. That means more of your donations will go directly toward practical items people need to build their lives away from the streets: things like ID to register with a landlord, bus fares to get to key appointments or money for the electric meter to settle into their new home.
Victoria Holden, Partnership Co-ordinator at Action Together and Chair of the Real Change Oldham network said: “Working on the frontline with people who are homeless, voluntary groups see every day how hard it is to make a change when you lose your home and also lose hope. This fund is an antidote to that - ensuring the cash is there at the point people need it to cover costs which will help end their homelessness.
“The campaign is also about everyone in Oldham coming together to say it is not ok for someone’s life to get to the point where they are homeless or beg on the streets, and this is something we can do about it.”
Councillor Hannah Roberts, Oldham Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We can all see that rough sleeping is a real issue here in Oldham – and we also know that homelessness is rising across the country. Real Change Oldham is a new partnership which will make sure your donations to help end rough sleeping go to the right place to make the most difference. People often just need a bit of help at the right time to help them get back on their feet and Real Change Oldham will be able to provide what is needed. Everyone involved has the experience needed to make Real Change work here, just as it has elsewhere in the UK.”
The campaign is now looking for more people, workplaces and community groups to get involved raising funds and awareness for Real Change Oldham to help end homelessness in their community – with more information about how you can be a part of it at www.realchangeoldham.co.uk.
You can follow the campaign on Twitter by searching #RealChangeOldham or following @OldhamReal