Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation


The data collected by a mapping study that Voluntary Action Oldham (VAO) commissioned from Shared Intelligence in 2004 suggests that Oldham’s VCS is the sixth-largest in Greater Manchester, both in absolute numbers and per 1000 residents.

Its density of VCS organisations is slightly lower than that of Salford and slightly higher than that of Tameside. VAO describes the sector as one with “a long and proud history of volunteering which is reflected across all cultures.” Volunteers put in 90,000 hours per month, and the VCS employs 3.2% of the active workforce.

Oldham is the only local ChangeUp consortium that was able to supply data on the number of rural groups, of which there are an estimated 40. This is perhaps inherent in Oldham’s demographics, as Oldham has the second-lowest population density next to Rochdale.

Population*                                                       218,000
Number of VCS groups                                      900
Number of VCS groups per 1000 population     4.1 
Deprivation Index (1 being the highest)*          43 
Population Density (per km squared)*              1,535
Number of infrastructure organisations             3
Number of infrastructure service providers        7

*Source: Neighbourhood Statistics. The Office for National Statistics,, accessed in August 2005.

For more detailed information about all areas of Greater Manchester see Spinning the Spider’s Web – a Mapping of Greater Manchester’s Voluntary and Community Sector Infrastructure.

The local support agency for the voluntary and community sector is Voluntary Action Oldham.

The National Survey of Third Sector Organisations, commissioned by the Office of the Third Sector from Ipsos Mori, gives statistics about the local voluntary sector, its funding, and its relationship with the local authority. Please note that this survey has been controversial, due to its failure to include organisations that are ‘under the radar’, because of not being on the Charity Commission database.

The Oldham Metropolitan Council website contains a wealth of information about the local area. Additionally, the Oldham Info website allows users to call up information on pre-defined areas as well as create and analyse user-defined areas. Users must register for using this website, but registration is free.

The North West Regional Intelligence Unit has produced place profiles about each local authority district. These profiles are supposed to give an impression of the distinct features of each district and cover history, physical assets, environment (including districts’ footprints) and economic functionality.
Short reports about each borough provide an overview over certain subjects, such as the housing market, migration and crime.,2DJT,LEMNJ,7I0L,1

The North West Public Health Observatory publishes an annual health profile for each local authority, which reports on health indicators such as smoking, obesity, life expectancy, relative to the national average.

In 2004, the DEFRA Rural Statistics Unit produced rural profiles for each local authority district, which contain statistics about the size and demographics of the rural population, tenancy types in the rural areas, car ownership and access to services.

From 2006 to 2008 GMCVO hosted a Rural Resource Unit. One of the documents the Unit produced is entitled Wake Up Saddleworth and looks into the role and potential of the voluntary and community sector in Saddleworth.