Exciting Milestones Reached in Our Community Empowerment Project

Upturn have already enabled more than 250 people to access opportunities to change their lives.


Thanks to the generous support of the Reaching Communities Fund, we are thrilled to share the progress and impact of our community empowerment initiative in the Oldham and Rochdale regions. Our efforts have successfully opened doors for over 250 individuals from underprivileged backgrounds, providing them with life-changing opportunities.

In just the first year of this initiative, we've reached out to 251 local participants from disadvantaged communities in Oldham and Rochdale. The results have been heartening: an increase in self-esteem, enhanced skills and capabilities, and significant improvements in mental health, particularly among those who've struggled with financial hardships.

A major highlight of our project has been the tangible outcomes in terms of employment and education. An impressive count of 154 participants have secured local employment or advanced into further education and training in diverse fields such as Health & Social Care, ITC, English, Public Services, HR, and Engineering.

Our Co-Founder, Maria Williams, reflects on this journey: “To be able to truly help these incredible people, who were already so disadvantaged in society and then disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, is a true honour. The talent, commitment, and over-whelming sense of determination to overcome true adversity is so inspiring and a real privilege to play a small part in and witness first hand. Our core value at UpTurn is to make a real, positive difference to the people to the communities we serve and this project is a true demonstration of this. We couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of the people we have helped so far and look forward to what the next 12 months brings.”

Central to our project is a comprehensive support package tailored to each participant, addressing unique needs and filling gaps in skills, confidence, and qualifications. This approach ensures that each individual progresses at their own pace, fostering self-belief and resilience.

The words of one participant vividly capture the impact of our program: “Having applied for more than 50 jobs and constantly being rejected – often told I had no relevant skills – it started getting me down – I had no confidence or self-belief and had no aim in life. … the Job Centre referred me to Upturn. I received five weeks of intensive support, advice and guidance and slowly began to feel more confident… they have changed my life around.”

Maria adds: “This program has changed the project participants lives for the better. It’s engaged, inspired, and motivated people – through use of a stepped, non-threatening, supportive approach ensuring all activities were available at the pace which each individual person was comfortable with. Our approach recognised that people who are struggling and are increasingly disadvantaged need to feel listened to and valued. By working with them and identifying what the best approach was to bring stability into their lives and avoid them falling further and further behind, we have been able to achieve some incredible results which we are really proud of.”

We are immensely proud of the progress and transformation seen in our communities. As we look forward to the next phase of our project, we remain committed to making a lasting, positive difference in the lives of those we serve.