Oldham Poverty Action Network


The Oldham Poverty Action Network builds on the existing poverty work of initiatives including the Poverty Action Group, Poverty Truth Commission, OCAN, MoVE, and Cost of Living Crisis Summit. Using an innovative and long-term funding opportunity from Local Motion, we are collaborating across sectors and communities in Oldham to learn how to achieve our vision of: Strengthening community spirit, aligning efforts to tackle poverty, and creating good jobs and social enterprise.

The Network is action driven based on perspectives and insights from key VCFSE, public and private sector organisations and those with lived experience.  The actions led by the network will be evidence of best practice, and develop projects which address the root causes of the three themes in the vision.


The Oldham Poverty Action Network aims to:

  • Build relationships and trust between local people and civic leaders that increase understanding of poverty
  • Prompt changes in policy and practice within organisations
  • Provide a positive example of co-production that Oldham can reference
  • Develop new skills for all participants which can be applied to other programmes
  • Maximise on the Local Motion investment by putting forward actions using the devolved budget.

This network space is one of action and intention, a space where VCFSE organisations can form solutions that they would be unable to achieve on their own, a space where strength in numbers can influence system change. The Network will meet regularly, share insight, inform decision making and work collectively.


The Network consists of:

Task Groups

Task Groups are part of the co-ordination for the Oldham Poverty Action Network, helping deliver its mission, by working to achieve change around three priorities; Building out from the cost-of living response, Hope and aspirations, creating routes out of poverty, and building a joined up approach to tackle poverty alleviation and prevention.

Their role is to:

  • Lead on directing and galvanizing activity around the priority themes
  • Propose their own short-term objectives to make progress toward it
  • Report back into the wider network to involve others in emerging pieces of work and minimise duplication of effort
  • Put forward topics for Full Network Events
  • Develop proposals for action around the identified gaps and opportunities

Foundation Group

The purpose of the foundation group is to coordinate and oversee the Networks activities.  It will consist of up to 8 member organisations, which is open to both Public Sector and VCFSE organisations.  3 of the foundation group members will be the co-chairs of the priority themed task groups.

Their role will be:

  • To guide and support the network members, providing peer support and learning opportunities
  • Nurture the emerging work and connect into their ‘sphere of influence’
  • Propel and supercharge the work forward
  • To provide oversight of any funding proposals with final decision making power

Lived Experience Peer Support

Lived experience of poverty and hardship is increasingly recognised as equal to ‘learnt’ experience of professional and decision makers in addressing it. At the heart of the network will be members with lived experience who will play an active role in everything the Network does.

To support those with lived experience to feel able to play an active part in the network, a separate Peer Support group has been established, creating a space where people can build their confidence, support each other, grow into the space.  This is coordinated by a dedicated person who will offer 1:1 support to all the lived experience members, as well as facilitate the peer support group. Learning and development sessions are also provided to those wishing to enhance their skills.



  • The network will be a shared platform, coordinating our collective response to tackle poverty alleviation and prevention, acknowledging that we can achieve more through collaboration and partnership
  • Test ways of achieving long-term change that tackles the root causes of poverty based on insight from those experiencing hardship and from the communities of Oldham.
  • Maximise on the Local Motion investment opportunity and help to inform an 8-year long-term vision and funding proposal for social change in Oldham, tackling the root causes of injustice.
  • Ensuring the voices of people with lived experience inform and influence the decision-making structures across the system.
  • Commit to working collectively with local people and local partners, ensuring all work undertaken by the network is co-design and co-produced and any decision making is open and transparent.
  • Lobbying to prompt change within Policy and Practice, in response to the experiences of those facing poverty and hardship.
  • To tell the story of the network and its impact by harnessing the power of stories as evidence and the change we create.
  • Peer support for Network Members to develop new skills which can be applied to other programmes.
  • To connect the work we undertake through the Poverty Action Network to wider spheres of work for greater influence and collaboration, reducing the risk of duplication.



Network members consist of key VCFSE, private and public sector organisations and those with lived experience of hardship or poverty.  Individuals and organisations who are driven by our collective purpose and shared values may join the network. 

Action Together facilitate and act as a coordinator for the network, however the network is lead and owned by the members of the Oldham Poverty Action Network.

Click here to access a copy of the Oldham Poverty Action Network Terms of Reference

​To find out more about our Oldham Poverty Action Group work please contact the Development Team at development@actiontogether.org.uk, T: 0161 339 2345 ext 3203



Network and Task group meetings take place on the last Thursday of each month, alternating between a full network meeting and the themed Task Groups. Please visit our events page to book your place.  All meetings for 2023 have been added to our event webpage and are available for you to book.