Annual Review 2023


Mahdlo youth zone's Annual Review


Welcome to the Mahdlo Youth Zone’s Annual Review for 2023, a reflection of our unwavering commitment to the young people of Oldham amidst the challenging backdrop of the UK’s cost of living crisis.

Over the last year, the nation has grappled with the soaring cost of food, energy, and heating. This brings a whole new series of challenges for families in Oldham. Previously stretched budgets are coming under increasing pressure, foodbank use is on the rise, and fun activities are taking a back seat.

We’ve stepped up to provide even more opportunities for young people to try something new and support families to get by.

This year we’ve focused on our “Get” Themes, growing our team and the number of activities we have to more than 50 per week. This is backed by discrete campaigns offering clothes rehoming, free hot meals, and free memberships and entry for young people.

More than 3,600 young people have visited Mahdlo’s hub in the town centre and our sessions across the five districts, and hundreds more have engaged with us on the streets and in the parks of Oldham. Forty businesses and individuals have pledged their support as patrons, and more than £1.3 million has been raised.

Thank you for joining us in our commitment to empowering young lives in the heart of the UK’s cost of living crisis.


Get Active

Sports provision for all young people in Oldham – including universal access during evening sessions and specialist interest clubs such as climbing and boxing.

Paulo started to access Mahdlo in October 2021, initially only engaging with our basketball sessions as they gave him somewhere to go that had the sport he loved with no financial barriers. Every time he wanted to play, it cost 50p. If he went to other sports centres in Oldham, he could have been paying up to £4.50 per visit.

Through engaging at Mahdlo, Paulo has built really positive relationships with the staff as well as developing lots of new friendshsips. He is now part of Mahdlo’s senior basketball team and engages with activities throughout the offer.

Paulo is more confident, and has been recognised for his positive attitude by the Mahdlo team and other young people. He has been invited on celebration trips as a reward for his attitude across Mahdlo.

Get Creative

Arts provision for all young people in Oldham – including dance, art, music, creative writing, and drama. We have a dedicated performing arts facility, ‘The SPACE,’ which is open for community use and showcasing performances from our young people.

Battling additional needs like Dyspraxia, learning difficulties, and mental health struggles, this young person faced a daunting challenge. Their communication barriers made seeking help difficult, but they came to Mahdlo regularly.

Early this year they conquered one of their fears – singing. From a quiet confession to belting karaoke tunes in solitude, they’ve now grown to sing with friends and music workers, and even embraced vocal coaching. But that’s just the beginning as they recently co-designed a social action project, forging positive friendships and kindling hope. 

Weekly coaching and support by youth workers, trained music professionals and a whole team of incredible staff have created a new path for this young person, a path filled with confidence and a way to make their new-found voice heard.


Get Outdoors

Outdoor activity sessions for all young people – including adventure and environmental activities such as Duke of Edinburgh Awards, gardening, horse riding, kayaking.


With the cost of living affecting many families across Oldham, a group of care experienced young people came to us to ask if they could do something to support those that attended Family Zone.

With support from Tesco, UK Youth and Inspire 2022, they set about creating and managing their own free event for families where they could not only learn how to plant and grow their own vegetables, but take home everything they needed to do it!

The young people worked with hundreds of families, planting carrots, onions, parsnips and tomatoes, showing them how to care for their new vegetables and be a food source long into the future.

Having got into the swing of planting, they also planted lots in the gardens at Mahdlo which come summer, were used in Holiday Zone to feed young people!

Get Connected

Targeted provision promoting community cohesion, training young leaders, and inspiring and motivating young people to make a difference in their community – at home, across Oldham, and more widely.

A group of young people came together to create an event for their local community. Keen to learn from the experiences of older people across Oldham, they invited them to Mahdlo Youth Zone for “Tea. Time. Talk,” a coffee morning with a difference, where young people and people aged 55 and older came together for light refreshments, food, and arts and crafts activities while discussing their lived experiences.

The group designed and planned their event from scratch and then managed activities on the day to create an interesting and meaningful event that received so much positive feedback they have decided to do a second.

Due to the event’s success, they were invited to attend a UK Youth showcase event in London, representing Mahdlo Youth Zone and young people from Oldham. Following huge amounts of interest in their event, they’ve been invited to visit The Believe and Achieve Trust in Bolton to see how they create and run their Black History Month events.


Get Sorted

Targeted help for young people through one-to-one mentoring, counselling, and health and wellbeing activities, as well as signposting to other activities and support available.


Chloe has been a member at Mahdlo since 2013 and having spoken to members of the team, she opened up about some of the challenges she faced.

Referred to the mentoring programme, kindly funded in 2022-23 by Children in Need, Chloe was matched to a mentor and began a journey that was not without it’s up and downs!

At the start of the programme, she was having a tough time at school; she struggled with managing her emotions and just wanted someone to talk to.

Those conversations have led to Chloe re-enrolling at college, going on a multi-day residential, her first trip away without friends or family, and now even having a job that she’s thriving in.

Mentoring has opened the door to Chloe’s dream of becoming a children’s nurse. And she was just one of dozens of mentees this year!

Get Ahead

Targeted provision for young people excluded from school and not in education, training or employment through our alternative provision.

Jack is a 25-year-old male with additional needs, who has been a Mahdlo member since September 2014. In that time, he’s made great use of Mahdlo’s inclusion sessions and activities, as well as moving into open-access Senior Zone, and in total has attended more than 460 sessions.

In recent months, Jack embraced Mahdlo’s opportunities wholeheartedly. He co-organised a fundraising stall at the Community Christmas Fair and co-wrote a performance for the Arts Slam. His newfound confidence led him to express himself through singing and dancing, even in front of others. Amid personal challenges, he radiates positivity and builds meaningful connections.

As he approaches departure from Mahdlo, Jack’s remarkable growth positions him to excel in his future pursuits as an empowered and confident Mahdlo alumnus.



Projects and grants £ 381,215
Patrons and donations 235,767
Council funding 300,000
Sales 143,135
Events and donations 230,095
Other income 86,492
Total income £ 1,376,704
Delivery £ 1,069,813
Management costs 170,522
Building costs 121,624
Fundraising 88,758
Marketing 32,508
Depreciation 106,521
Total expenditure £ 1,483,225

Thank you

From Sir Norman Stoller CBE KStJ DL, President

I think it truly remarkable and heart-warming to witness the dedication of Mahdlo Youth Zone, its team, and its members, as the Centre of Excellence as you continue to champion your mission with unwavering belief and determination.

I compliment you all on the way that you stand strong, facing challenges head-on, ensuring that nothing stands in the way of progress for the incredible young people of Oldham. They deserve nothing but the best, and at Mahdlo, we’re committed to making sure they achieve it!

Over the past decade, Mahdlo has touched the lives of over 26,000 young individuals, providing countless opportunities and personal support that has transformed lives as a result. 

I am also delighted to learn that the impact extends beyond our Youth Zone, creating over 500 job and volunteer opportunities for Oldham residents, enriching careers and opening new doors. Together, your enterprise has brought over £22 million in investment to our town.

As we all continue this remarkable journey, I hope those who’ve been part of our story will stay by our side, while encouraging others to join in the joy of making a difference to so many. 

I wish you all ongoing success, progress and happiness in all that you do to ensure that Mahdlo remains THE Centre of excellence to all of its members.

From Chris Wareing, Chair

As yet another year passes in Mahdlo’s story, I continue to be proud of all hard work, dedication, challenge and opportunity that we have achieved this year.

This year’s annual review again celebrates the young people and their voices, Mahdlo works across the borough, whether that be through the DofE programme, activities in our Gym or Dance studio or through our outreach programmes and sessions at a local level all over the borough…. 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.

However we still need your continued support to invest in youth work and our young people, 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, there are many ways to give back.

Mahdlo truly is a special place for our young people to grow and excel and to achieve their dreams, it’s a place that 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.

Patrons and Supporters

Founding Patron


David & Janelle Barker

Manchester Cabins Ltd

OMC Motorgroup Ltd

Rowan Ashworth Ltd


An Anonymous Donor

David Bellis MBE

JW Lees

Ribble Packaging Ltd


Duchy of Lancaster

Duncan & Barbara Arthurs

Rooftops Properties Ltd

The Ruia Family

Wiggett Construction Ltd



ANSA Elevators UK Ltd

Beaverbrooks Oldham Town Centre

Bedspace Resource Ltd

Breakey and Nuttall

Chris & Jo Wareing

Collective Travel

Co-op Local Community

Ibrahim Yousaf

J Greenwood Builders Ltd

Jeanette Quinn

Lift Safe Ltd

M&C Risk Solutions

Mechplant North West Ltd

Osborne Delta (Lightning Conductors)
Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisors Ltd

Peter and Patricia Casey


Rotary Club of Oldham Metro

Rotary Club of Saddleworth

Terry & Sue Flanagan

The Treeside Trust

The Unit Fitness Ltd

Think Wild Ltd

Honorary Patrons

Mark Adlestone OBE DL

Michael Josephson MBE

Paul Scholes

Trusts, Grants and Foundations

The Treeside Trust
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