OPAL - advocacy has been providing services for people with learning disabilities in Oldham for over 30 years.  

The weekly project focuses on women whose disabilities are not severe enough to entitle them to social care services, and therefore they fall through the cracks.  The activities help the women to manage difficult feelings of isolation and worthlessness.  In particular, domestic violence is viewed as the norm in some women’s relationships, and the team at OPAL are working hard to challenge these perceptions and raise expectations of better treatment.

Joanne* has been attending the centre “I am getting a lot of support from OPAL – helping me to set up my new home and coming to doctor’s appointments with me so that I know what I need to do to stay healthy.”

Action Together has helped OPAL. A grant through the Action Oldham Fund enabled them to provide a safe space where women can meet, make friends, seek guidance and learn skills in a supportive environment. 

Catherine Raffety, from OPAL said “Without the grant, we would not have been able to run the group. The women are building skills which support independence and wellbeing in all aspects of their daily life.” 

*Name has been changed.