As an Anglican Church, we serve our local community to create a genuine, lasting sense of cohesion and mutual trust. We help all local people including children, young people and those in need. So we started our Community Project in 2011 to enhance wellbeing and wholeness, to promote better chances in life, and build a stronger community. The Community Project offers help to everyone approaching us for help, and its component activities change regularly according needs and funding.
We cover the geographical areas of Clarksfield, Greenacres and Littlemoor. Some clients come from west and central Oldham. Clarksfield is one of Oldham’s more deprived areas. The standard indices of multiple deprivation (IMD, compiled in 2015) enable the Church Urban Fund to compute that Clarksfield Parish is mere 2.2% from the bottom of the rankings.
We devise projects aimed at children and wellbeing. Projects aimed at children will principally help young people under 12-years of age and will promote inter-ethnic mixing; a good diet; and safety. We expect the main take up for health-based projects to be female. Engagement with men will occur principally through interconnected projects underpinned with good, free hospitality.
We estimate the weekly footfall through our Church and Community Project as 450–600 people during term-time and as many as 1,000 during school holidays.
We are unique in east Oldham:
· We run the largest community project in east Oldham, which falls into three broad categories: the Wellbeing Project, the Food Project, and the Youth Project.
· We own the largest community centre in east Oldham.
· We run the only food bank in east Oldham.
· We will shortly open the only food co-operative (also known as a ‘food pantry’) in this half of Greater Manchester.
· We operate a free clothes bank.
· We are extremely rare in Oldham in that we sponsor ownership by from all the ethnic groups living here: white British, Asian, African, and European (east and west, and especially Roma).
· We refuse to discriminate in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, creed, sexuality, etc.
On a micro-community level, the Community Centre is located within LSOA, E01005448. The latest indices of multiple deprivation (IMD-15) indicate it is (overall) in the most deprived 1.1% of all LSOAs in England. It is also in the 1.3% most deprived in terms of crime; 1.5% in terms of income deprivation; 1.9% in terms of health and disability; 6.3% in terms of child deprivation; 6.8% in terms of adult skills and training.
The ethnic composition here is changing fast. Statistics suggest the composition in our Anglican Parish is (2017) is Asian (65%), eastern European (23%), indigenous white (10%), and African (2%). The Asian population derive largely from a rural Pakistani heritage. The eastern Europeans are generally Roma (Romanian and Bulgarian), but also many from elsewhere.
Our project aims to improve the life chances of all in this troubled area.
Page posted 20 March 2018