Rochdale Connections Trust 20 year anniversary

Date published: 06 December 2017

Rochdale Connections Trust (RCT) celebrated its 20th anniversary at Touchstones on Saturday (2 December) - reflecting on the difference the charity has made to the lives of those living in greatest need across Rochdale over the years.

There were speeches from CEO Kathy Thomas, Chairman Viv Carter DL, Trustee Ewan Roland, who was involved with setting up Rochdale Connections Trust, and Julie Ward, Member of the European Parliament for the North West of England, who spoke about her campaigning against violence against women and girls.

Entertainment was provided by Rochdale Music Service and some of RCT’s young people, who have been learning circus skills with Skylight Circus.

Awards were presented to volunteers by Tony Lloyd MP, and former Mayor, Councillor Carol Wardle, who stood in on behalf of the current Mayor and Mayoress, who were at another engagement, before the birthday cake was cut.

Bev Place, Business Development Manager, said: “We would like to thank everyone who contributed to making the event a huge success, including Touchstones Museum and Gallery, Rochdale Music Service, Skylight Circus, Hopwood Hall College, who donated canapes, Walk Right Podiatry, who sponsored the arrival drinks, Brown’s Cakes, who donated the cake, and The Flying Horse, who loaned their champagne flutes.”

John Kay, a director of Rochdale Online, said: “I have been involved with this charity from the beginning.

“It does excellent work, thanks to the dedication of the chairwoman Viv Carter DL MBE and the Chief Executive Kathy Thomas and her team.

“We could now do with some younger people in the organisation, and anyone interested should contact Kathy Thomas.”

Rochdale Connections Trust is an independent voluntary organisation offering a lifeline to young people, adults and families who are finding life difficult in some day. Referrals are received from a range of Agencies, Services and Statutory Bodies including Social Services, The Youth Offending Service, Probation, Schools and CAMHS.

The charity was established in 1997 by a group of Youth Court Magistrates, who had become increasingly concerned by the number of young people coming before them who had little or no family support.

The Youth Court Magistrates identified that many of the young people were not attending school and were becoming socially excluded and marginalised, impacting negatively on their self-worth, self-esteem and confidence, so they actively set about to help them return to education and training via a range of social inclusion intervention programmes.

Since then, RCT has evolved to include work with socially isolated adults and those with complex needs, whilst remaining highly committed to their original targeted youth support programme.

A range of services is provided by fully trained staff and volunteers, including young people mentoring, female and male ‘Freedom Programmes’, literacy and numeracy courses and parenting courses, to name but a few. The trust also works with other local services.

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