Annual Review


Since opening our doors in 2012, Mahdlo Youth Zone has provided a world of opportunities and support for thousands of young people in Oldham. This year has been no exception. As we began to remobilise our services early in the year, we took the opportunity to step back and reflect, consult and engage to ensure we continued to meet the needs and wants of Oldham’s community.

As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we reflect on our achievements since opening and look ahead to the next ten years at Mahdlo Youth Zone and our aspirations for Oldham’s young people.

Lucy Lees
CEO, Mahdlo Youth Zone


Mahdlo's impact in the community.


Mahdlo is about opportunity.

“We want all young people to be inspired to achieve their goals and be confident to take opportunities when presented.”

Youth Work

We've invested in another 10 years of youth work in Oldham.

“I love coming to Mahdlo because it’s fun! I’ve made new friends and get to have a good time. I also like to talk to the fantastic staff, who everyone can talk to about anything.”

Community Support

Every year, the Oldham community steps up to support future generations.

Double Donation

This year, one mystery donor’s love of Mahdlo and our work meant they offered to match every donation received or pledged before 31 October 2021.

Businesses, communities and individuals stepped up to the challenge and together pledged £50,000 to support young people meaning a huge total of £100,000 was raised!

Three Peaks of Saddleworth

In July, more than 240 people completed the Three Peaks of Saddleworth Challenge, raising more than £15,000 for the charity.

The event has been running since 2016, and the walk last year saw participants taking on Indian’s Head, Pots and Pans and Wharmton Hill landmarks providing walkers with incredible views of Oldham and beyond.

After an eventful ten years helping youngsters across the town, it is clear that the charity’s work will continue to make a difference to people if it continues to get the backing it needs.” – The Oldham Times


Celebrating ten amazing years of opportunity.

Working within the heart of Oldham’s communities, Mahdlo provides essential youth work to help young people grow and reach their potential. Since opening in 2012, Mahdlo has provided a world of opportunities and support for thousands of young people across the borough aged 8-19, up to 25 for those with a disability.

The charity allows Oldham’s youth to participate in positive, exciting, constructive activities. Mahdlo inspires and motivates young people to achieve their goals and be confident to take opportunities when presented.

Mahdlo has given me all the opportunities I could need. I was able to improve upon skills for employability, and I felt a lot more prepared when I was starting work.
Senior Zone Member

As a charity, Mahdlo relies on the generosity of others to help raise £1.6 million per year. The past ten years would not have been possible without the kindness and generosity of Mahdlo’s patrons, supporters and the local community.

The numbers

Sir Norman Stoller

CBE KStJ DL – President

I find it both amazing and gratifying that no matter what challenges need to be faced, Mahdlo, its leaders, staff, and members, continue to demonstrate the importance of their task with a peerless belief in themselves and a determination to succeed. Together, we will not allow anything to stand in the path of progress because Oldham’s young people deserve the very best, and at Mahdlo, nothing is going to stop them from getting it!

Since we opened our doors over ten years ago, we have attracted over 26,000 young people to become Mahdlo Members. They have benefitted from countless opportunities, including, for many, personal support that has improved both the quality and the opportunity to a better life. Mahdlo has also created more than 500 employment and volunteering openings for Oldham people. For many, this opportunity has enriched their lives and enabled them to pursue a more rewarding and better career not only within our Youth Zone but within various organisations across the region as well. Many have also found that highlighting their Youth Work experience has opened doors to new opportunities with the added benefit of rewarding, progressive careers. All this and more has helped bring inward investment to our town in excess of £22m.

As we look ahead and embark on Mahdlo’s onward journey, I hope that those who have shared our journey continue whilst encouraging those that have yet to do so to experience the satisfaction of sharing knowledge and time in such a worthwhile cause.

To you all, and on behalf of the whole team, I wish you good health, ongoing success and happiness.

Chris Wareing


This year’s annual review is a special celebration of young people. Mahdlo Youth Zone works across the borough, whether that be through the DofE programme, activities in our Gym or Dance studio in the town centre hub or through our outreach programmes and sessions at a local level across Oldham. We are supporting young people to be the best they can be and ensuring that they have every opportunity for their voices to be heard.

We need continued support to invest in youth work and our young people. There are many ways you can support the charity through becoming a patron, volunteering, raising funds through community events and sponsorship or simply giving what you can when you can.

Mahdlo truly is a special organisation for our young people. It makes me so proud to say I’m from Oldham.

None of this would be possible without your continued support, so thank you to everyone that has supported Mahdlo this year. Your commitment means so much; it is valued and appreciated by us all but most importantly by our young people.

Core Funder

Founding Patron


Frank & Judith Rothwell

David & Janelle Barker

OMC Group

Duncan & Barbara Arthurs

Rooftop Properties

Peter & Patricia Casey


Q Plant

Breakey & Nuttall

Osbourne Delta

Ansa Elevators



Mark Flanagan

Michael Josephson MBE

Dovestone WI

Project Funders


Positive Music Oldham


Company Number: 6946098
Charity Number: 1134427

Financial Report - 2021/22

Income £
Projects and grants 483,420
Patrons and donations 168,505
Council funding 300,000
Sales 108,734
Events and donations 119,430
Other income 130,137
Expenditure £
Delivery 929,468
Management costs 136,238
Building costs 106,122
Fundraising 59,704
Marketing 20,114


A visit to
10 Downing Street

We were honoured to host Hope Hack, run by The Hope Collective, to unite young people, explore critical issues, and give them a voice in addressing those issues.

Called Changing the Conversation, the Hack at Mahdlo Youth Zone saw a diverse range of young teenagers take to the stage to talk openly about their mental health in what was the second in a series of five initiatives staged in major cities around the UK.

Following the Hack, Senior Zone member Molly was invited to 10 Downing Street to meet government policymakers and discuss these issues that formed part of a report authored by the Damilola Taylor Trust, UK Youth, NCS, 20/20 Change, OnSide, the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, and the London VRU.

Becoming recognised ski instructors with Snow Camp

The Snow Camp project enables young people to live experiences and receive opportunities that are not typically available.

The opportunity to ski abroad is truly once in a lifetime and unique in terms of outcomes for a project.

From the very start of the project, members were encouraged to mix with other youth zones and were challenged to look vulnerable in front of each other as they took their first steps onto the slope.

The life skills portion of the project goes beyond skiing and snowboarding and helps young people identify the tools they have within them that will help them succeed in any walk of life, not just the snow sports arena.

Young people are challenged to think about themselves in ways they may not have done before and can learn what their strengths are and where their areas are for development.

Young people transition from complete beginners to having the confidence to teach others in less than a year. A transformation such as this gives our young people the belief that they can achieve big things if they apply themselves.

They are more confident, self-aware, sociable, and have gained many new skills. This year’s residential after the programme was the first time our young people have been out of the country.

Snow Camp has done wonders in broadening horizons and making our young people realise that the world is bigger than their local area.

Creating a vision for Oldham's future

At Northern Roots, a charity supported by Oldham Council and local businesses based at Alexandra Park, they’re developing an urban farm and eco-park based on residents’ vision across the borough.

Mahdlo members aged as young as eight have been involved in the planning, design and development of areas of the site, including the new visitor centre, learning centre and location of walking trails.

Their vision has meant a plan for the future has been submitted in a planning application, a plan that will be built for the community to enjoy for many years.

Having fun at Mahdlo Youth Zone

Opportunity doesn’t always mean the chance to go somewhere or achieve something.

For many young people being able to relax, have fun with their friends and try new things is an opportunity they don’t get anywhere else.

In 2021 we celebrated the new school year, Halloween, Christmas and more with parties. We held football, basketball and cricket competitions and invited young people to show their creativity in the performing arts with a musical performed for our valued Patrons.

DCMS and BBC Children in Need

When BBC Children in Need announced the first phase of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Youth Investment Fund for capital projects, we saw the opportunity to celebrate not only with parties, balls and events but by celebrating one of our most significant assets: our building.

More than 20,000 young people have set foot in our sports hall, and it was starting to look a bit tired. We consulted our members and visited other youth zones, and the answer was clear; our sports hall needed an update to bring it into 2022!

Dynamik Sports Flooring laid a brand new light grey floor, paired with recently repainted walls; the sports hall is brighter, modern and accessible for young people for years to come.

Along with new flooring throughout the building, a complete repaint focusing on our Get theme colours and a plan to refresh the cafe area following member feedback, the building is ready to provide opportunities until 2032 and beyond.

Michael Josephson MBE's Charity Ball

Every year, well-known entrepreneur Michael Josephson MBE hosts a charity ball, an event that’s rapidly become one of the biggest and most glamorous fundraising galas on the Manchester calendar.

2021 saw Mahdlo chosen as one of four beneficiary charities, alongside Variety, Teenage Cancer Trust and fellow OnSide youth zone, Wigan Youth Zone.

A quarter of a million pounds was raised on the night, headlined by Ella Henderson and Soul II Soul. Other guests included Dame Joan Collins, legend Christopher Biggins, Man United hero Paul Scholes, Olympic stars Jayne Torvill, Christopher Dean, and TV stars Nikki Sanderson, Tamara Wall, Laura Pradelska and Lara Fraser.

Patron support from Oldham and afar

Every year we need to raise £1.6 million. This wouldn’t be possible without the support of our dedicated patrons.

Individuals and businesses, big and small, support Mahdlo. From financial donations to preparing lunches for young people, helping fix broken equipment and giving their time to put on activities.

Our family of Patrons commit to an annual donation and lays the foundations to enable us to be there for young people all year round. They are an integral part of our team and, through their generous support, have a positive impact on the lives of thousands of young people each year.

Business Breakfast with Mark Adlestone OBE DL

Since first learning about Mahdlo whilst High Sherriff of Greater Manchester, Beaverbrooks Chairman Mark Adlestone has become a Mahdlo patron and is incredibly supportive of the work we do.

Mark is a huge believer in the importance of philanthropy in business and recently spoke to lots of Oldham-based businesses at one of our Business Breakfasts. A huge thank you to Mark for taking the time for us 💛