Latest News and Press Releases
Here you will find all the latest news and press releases relating to Link4Life, including articles published Rochdale Borough Council.
- Category: News
A packed Middleton Area enthusiastically celebrated the nominees and winners of the Rochdale Sports and Culture Awards. This annual Link4Life produced event is unique in Greater Manchester in celebrating sports and culture at the same event!
The range of talent and dedication on show was nothing less than inspirational as we were introduced to what is great about our borough: it's amazing people. The judges must have had an almost impossible job in selecting winners from such an impressive pool of short-listed nominees. Those with this unenviable task were: David Agnew – Artistic Director, The Bury Met, Sarah Lowell – Head of Participation and Learning at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Paulette Terry Brien – Co-founder and Co-director of The International 3, based in Salford, Russ Green – Chief Executive Rochdale AFC
Brian Belfield – Board Member Rochdale Hornets.
Events like this are only possible because of the generous support of local businesses and organisations, in this case: Pelican Rouge, Recruitment Solutions North West, Debit Finance Collections, JGM Agency, Curious Minds, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Big Wave Media, Revolution 96.2fm and TBA-PT. There were also very generous gifts for all the nominees from Rochdale AFC and Rochdale Hornets.
Comedian, actor and broadcaster Ted Robbins did a great job, for the second year as compere, with a mixture of wit and heart-felt admiration and enthusiasm for the nominees and winners.
We were also treated to excellent performances courtesy of Skylight Circus and Rochdale Music Services, That's All Folk.
Best Cultural Facilitator or Practitioner sponsored and presented by Curious Minds, Parvez Qadir ‘This award is a testament to a platform of young people to be passionate and to be heard.’
Best Performer or Artist sponsored and presented by Revolution 96.2, Karen Lyons ‘A surprise and an honour to have won this award. I am very pleased. I work with a group of people (Guns to Good) and this award is something for us all.’
Changing Lifestyles Recognition of the Year in Sport sponsored and presented by Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust – Rochdale Infirmary, Tracey Szymanek ‘Amazing, but I couldn’t have been here without the support of my classes. I inspire them and they inspire me, it goes both ways. We work together brilliantly and we just gel.’
Club of the Year in Sport sponsored and presented by Debit Finance Collections Rochdale Lacrosse Club, Richard Garside, Chair and 1st team coach ‘We are really pleased, particularly when there is so many great sports club throughout the borough. We would like to thanks Link4Life and the Schools Game Partnership for their support and also, the Rochdale Sports Club which we are a part of.’
Coach of the Year in Sport sponsored and presented by Recruitment Solutions North West, Garry Smith ‘I am really surprised to have won but thrilled on behalf of all the boys and girls at Bridgeability. The award is for them as they are the ones that really matter.’
Cultural Champion sponsored and presented by Bigwave Media, Kevin Grocock ‘I have been involved with amateur theatre for 45 years now across Rochdale, Oldham and Shaw. I have been able to do every job under the sun. My time of the stage is probably coming to an end but I know I have given folk pleasure and I have enjoyed every moment.
Note: Kevin has been in hospital, and got release just for the event, he was off back to hospital after the event.’
Disabled Sports Achiever Award sponsored and presented by Debit Finance Collections, Azeem Azir ‘This award compared to all my achievements over the last year tops the lot. It has been an amazing and hectic year. I have worked hard and success keeps coming. I will keep working hard and hopefully more success will follow.’
Best Production, Exhibition or Cultural Event sponsored and presented by TBA-PT, M6 Theatre – Whatever the Weather
Culture and Health sponsored and presented by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, Skylight Circus Jim Riley Chairman ‘It’s great to be recognising for all the work we do. This particular project is targeted at over 55’s and the introduction of circus skills. The project reaches people of all abilities, we take it to residential homes and have had some great results. Skylight Circus has kept me young and healthy. Some of our participants have been amazed by their achievements and long may it continue.’
Sports Achiever of the Year sponsored and presented by Bigwave Media, Matthew George ‘It is an honour to even be nominated, let alone win. There is tremendous support for young athletes throughout the borough. Events like tonight show the support for young aspiring athletes. I hope that this award can inspire others to work hard to try and win this award.’
Compere Ted Robbins
The Best Community, Participatory or Education Project sponsored and presented by CuriousMinds, Unseen Voices Richard Rhodes, Pastoral Community Manager ‘It’s phenomenal; this project has now won 2 awards. It started as a project about getting to know our students in everyday life and how we could support them but it has turned into something so much bigger. The average grade of the group we worked with moved from E- to C- with one of the students gaining the top grades in the school. There was a huge bond with this group and now that they have left there is a massive hole for us to fill. We thank the local authority for their funding and support on this project as it couldn’t have been done without them.’
Unsung Hero in Sport presented by Link4Life Chief Exec Gillian Bishop, Beryl Birch ‘I can’t believe it, I thought there were more deserving. I have been volunteering for 50 years, this is my first nomination for anything and my first award. I am truly overwhelmed.’
Volunteer of the Year in Sport presented by Link4Life Chair of Trustees Roger Platt, Dave Robinson ‘It is nice to get recognition, after 25 years of working in football disability. The work with do at Bridge JFC is hard work but extremely rewarding.’
Young Creative presented by Link4Life’s Darren Grice, Robyn Chicot ‘Not expecting this at all, it’s a massive shock but really pleased to have won. I love spreading the joy of folk, inspiring people to have a go and watching people enjoying it.’
- Category: News
Shone Productions Ltd presents their biggest pantomime yet, Jack And The Beanstalk, at Middleton Arena from Thursday 1 - Saturday 31 December 2016.
Starring Winner Of Celebrity Big Brother Alex Reid as the evil Fleshcreep. This magical pantomime features a delicious blend of beautiful scenery, colourful costumes, a live band, dazzling dance routines, great songs and plenty of laughter.
Joining Alex on stage will be Andrew McGuire (Hollyoaks) as our hero Jack, Sophie Wysoczanski (X Factor) as the beautiful Princess Jill, Danny Mills as Dame Trott and Mick Dundee as Silly Billy and Natalie Pilkington as the Fairy.
Come and meet our hero Jack as he attempts to defeat the evil Giant and save the village. With help from his mother Dame Trott and his silly brother Billy, Jack dreams of marrying Princess Jill and he hopes that if he saves the days his dreams may come true.
Panto producer, James Shone, revealed: "I am so excited to be bringing Jack & The Beanstalk to Middleton Arena. It's a brilliant production featuring a great cast, dancers, a live band and beautiful scenery and costumes. We have such a strong cast to deliver this up-to-date pantomime version which is packed with plenty of current popular songs. There is something for the whole family and I know that everyone will have a great time.
Book now to avoid disappointment. Tickets are on sale at 0300 303 8633 or visit www.middletonarena.com.
For further information and performance details visit www.link4life.org/whats-on/panto.
- Category: News
Organised by Link4Life's Arts and Heritage Service, this popular annual exhibition gives the chance for residents of all ages, both amateur and professional to show their work. Once again, this year, the huge array of talent on display has filled two full galleries with examples of paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, animation and craft objects.
Declaring the exhibition open, the Deputy Mayor of Rochdale Councillor Ian Duckworth congratulated all those taking part, adding: "It's a great pleasure to be invited to the launch of this year's People's Art exhibition. Truly original works of art are on display here, by people of all ages, skills and expertise - and they are to be treasured. Congratulations to all the entries and the staff here at Touchstones Rochdale for putting this first class show together."
Mark Doyle, Art Gallery Curator & Collections Manager, further added: "Having recently come in to post, it has been great to witness the creativity of the borough in our exhibition spaces. I will look forward to building on this obvious passion for the visual arts over the coming years with some of the exciting future projects we have planned. I'd like to thank all 164 artists, professional and amateur, young and old, for submitting their art work for this year's exhibition and would encourage anyone to come along, enjoy the exhibition and vote for their favourite in our 'People's Choice' award."
There are plenty of FREE hands on activities for children in the gallery with the popular 'Art Paddock'. The exhibition runs until Saturday 19 November 2016.
Touchstones Rochdale is managed by the Link4Life Cultural Trust and is located on The Esplanade, Rochdale, OL16 1AQ. We are open Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm. Admission is FREE.
To find out more visit www.link4life.org/touchstones or ring Touchstones on 01706 924492.
- Category: News
The borough of Rochdale is once again getting ready to celebrate its fantastic architecture and heritage next month with the return of the popular national Heritage Open Days festival.
Now 22 years old, the event is billed as England's largest voluntary cultural event which 'opens the doors' to various venues in the borough, many of which are normally either closed to the public or charge an entrance fee.
Running for four consecutive days, from Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 September, this is a once-a-year chance to enjoy events and activities which bring to life local history and culture. All free to explore, buildings of every age, style and function across the borough will be opening, along with fascinating guided walks, tours and talks.
The open days are co-ordinated nationally by the Heritage Open Days National Partnership with Link4Life's Arts and Heritage Service organising locally, the event thrives upon the enthusiasm and expertise of local people as thousands of volunteers from all walks of life share their knowledge and memories. And with exciting new additions to the programme, festival co-ordinators are expecting this year to be even bigger and better.
Acknowledging the enthusiastic support received from the many different organisations taking part, Darren Grice, Head of Culture, Health and Participation for Link4Life said, "Rochdale punches well above its weight in terms of its fantastic heritage and it's great to have four days that shines a light on all the hard work and dedication of volunteers, groups and organisations who work year round to keep our heritage alive and accessible. I would encourage everyone to get out over the course of the event and have some fun enjoying the heritage of our Borough."
Many of Rochdale's historic and religious buildings will open including the Grade I listed Town Hall, the Pioneers Museum and Touchstones Rochdale which will welcome a visit by the mobile Yelloway Motor Coach Museum reliving over fifty years of memories of day trips and holidays. In partnership with Yelloway Motor Coach Museum, Touchstones operated by Link4Life will be providing circular tours on the Saturday on the hour from 11am to 2pm, where you can take a free, nostalgic trip aboard a vintage bus taking in the heritage attractions in Rochdale town centre.
After the success of last year, Christ Church in Healey will open this year for a second time. For the Heritage Open Days, there will be an exhibition of historical documents, with original letters from founders Jacob Tweedle and Albert Royds. The church will also hold a Heritage Fair Day on Saturday 10 September with home bakes and craft stalls and a variety of children's activities, fun and games for all ages! There will be a grand re-opening of the bell tower and visitors will be able to access the ringing chamber following its recent restoration.
It's Middleton Golden Cluster Month throughout September with three medieval buildings, St Leonard's Parish Church, The Queen Elizabeth 1st Grammar School (Tuesday only), the Olde Boar's Head and England's first Art Nouveau Church, Long Street Methodist Church will open their doors free of charge on Tuesday and Friday afternoons from 1pm.
Many of Heywood's historic churches will be open and local residents can step back in time to the 1930s to visit the courtroom and cells of the town's iconic former Police Station.
On the edge of the Pennines, Littleborough will be inviting visitors to explore Hare Hill House with animated displays of the various incarnations of the house and displays of the proposals for the future of the iconic local heritage asset.
In Milnrow, the Grade II listed Carnegie public library will be open for visitors with an opportunity to browse the library, or view their local history collection and display. Also, on view is their newly opened meeting room.
Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for Culture, Health and Wellbeing at Rochdale Borough Council: "Rochdale has a rich and diverse heritage of which we can be rightly proud, there is so much to discover within the Borough. There are hidden gems in all the Townships. Take some time out to visit somewhere you haven't seen yet or revisit old favourites to invoke your childhood memories. You'll be surprised and delighted at what you find!"
Full details of this year's Heritage Open Days programme, and how to pre-book onto the free sessions, is available online at www.link4life.org/hods. Copies of a twelve page colour brochure produced by Link4Life can also be picked up from the Visitor Information Centre at Touchstones Rochdale and at local libraries and leisure centres.
- Category: News
Rochdale Hornets Wheelchair Rugby League alongside Wigan & Leigh Wheelchair Rugby League have been successful in their bid to bring the Wheelchair Rugby League 4 Nations to the North West.
Both Wigan Leisure Trust and Rochdale Hornets Sporting Foundation were successful in attracting support from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund to allow the showcase tournament to be staged in Rochdale.
The opening ceremony will take place on Friday 23 September at Rochdale Town Hall and then a two-day tournament will commence at Kingsway Park Sports Centre. It will see teams from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales face off in what is set to be a blockbuster event.
It is a huge statement of intent from both Rochdale and Wigan & Leigh as they’re in the infancy of their existence as clubs.
Hornets Wheelchair Rugby League Chairman Terry Morley explained; “Having the Wheelchair Rugby League 4 Nations come to the Town of Rochdale is a real honor and a great opportunity to show off our fantastic town and sporting facilities to the nation and also the world.”
Terry went on to explain how far wheelchair rugby league has come in Rochdale since its launch in April “Hosting these games the same year we started our own Wheelchair Rugby League Team will be a memorable occasion and be part of our heritage. It also demonstrates how the town promotes inclusion through a variety of means such as ethnicity, age, gender and ability and provides an opportunity for all.”
Terry continued, “As a newly appointed dedicated committee and team of players we are looking forward to watching these athletes play so we can learn and grow our own talent so that one day they may be playing for their own nation.”
Meanwhile Matt McQuillan, Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles, expressed his delight at securing the Wheelchair Rugby League 4 Nations “Its such an exciting opportunity to be part of a great sporting event like the 4 Nations.”
Matt hopes that securing such an important sporting event will help to inspire people in the local area to help the sport grow. “The event its self is going to be a great opportunity to raise the awareness of the sport. On the back of the event we are aiming to create our own wheelchair rugby team that will be based here in Wigan.”
Hornets WRL player/coach Andy McLean echoed both Terry Morley and Matt McQuillan as he explains how he has benefitted from such an inclusive sport; “As player and assistant coach of the Rochdale Hornets Wheelchair Rugby League team, I joined the group after years of poor health. Before my health issues I enjoyed playing and coaching kids until my condition took it all from me.” said McLean.
“I still have health issues and I am visited by district nurses daily. I was socially isolated due to mobility problems and constant pain but the WRL team has given me immense positivity and something to look forward to each week.”
Andy believes the explosive and intense nature of Wheelchair Rugby League will grip the people of Rochdale,
“The 4 Nations is an exciting sporting event and I know that bringing it to Rochdale will be a huge success and I am proud and honored to be just a small part of it.”
Councillor Alan McCarthy, Lead member for Armed Forces, Rochdale Borough Council said; “Bringing the Wheelchair Rugby League 4 Nations to Rochdale is something we can be proud of. Our own Wheelchair Rugby League club is in its infancy. To host this event can only inspire people to engage in sporting events regardless of ability or disability.
Tickets are priced (per day) at £10 for adults, £7.50 concession* and £5 for kids under the age of 16.
There is also a special family ticket which will allow two adults and up to four children to attend for only £20.
Tickets are available from www.hornetssportingfoundation.com.
*Concession rate applies to unwaged, students, NHS staff and serving / veteran armed forces.