Ancora provides holistic and often innovative solutions to people in acute need
"Ancora is an essential part of the life-blood of Oldham. It keeps people going when they're at their lowest, and helps them to recover their strength and vitality. Ancora works because people are cared about, they feel the difference and let us get to the heart of their struggles"
Brian Frisby - KeyRing Trustee

Our Story

The Ancora Project was set up in 2016 to support people in crisis brought on by financial hardship and is a collaboration between KeyRing, Christians Against Poverty and Oldham Foodbank. Together we offer crisis support, long term training including life skills, peer support and case work.

The high level of need for this support in Oldham comes not only from people in financial crisis but we also reach those who typically do not ask for help such as people who have mental health needs, people who are homeless and have already fallen through the cracks plus people on low income, working long hours and still can’t make ends meet to support their families. We are currently supporting over 1400 people each year, a 93% increase on the number we expected.

If I had not found the Money Management and Life Skills courses, I would not have been able to manage my gas and electricity as well as other bills.
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In numbers: in the last 12 months we have supported


people who attended 4736 times across 474 sessions.


people to access support with food and fuel.


people under 25 and 102 people over the age of 65.


people at risk of homelessness or who were rough sleeping.


There is no better way to demonstrate the vital help which Ancora provides than through the real stories of those we’ve supported. Though names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals, the stories below highlight the essential work being undertaken by Ancora to improve the lives of the people of Oldham.  

Kerry's story

Like most mums Kerry’s key concern in her time of crisis was that her daughter be impacted as little as possible.

Kerry was living in temporary accommodation many miles from her daughter’s school and the extra pressure of the additional travel costs meant that Kerry’s budget was not stretching far enough for food and fuel.

A photo of an empty wallet

Ancora supported Kerry with food parcels and fuel credit which addressed the immediate situation. The next step was to support Kerry and her daughter to build a brighter future.

We chatted with Kerry about her situation and supported her to contact her local councillor and share her story. With the Councillors support Kerry was soon moved to accommodation nearer her daughter’s school and her family.

Kerry says:

“Without Ancora, I could not have achieved this outcome. I was getting more and more depressed and could not see a way out of my situation. Thank you for your continued support, your understanding of our needs and the way you dealt with us. Our lives are so much better, thank you.”

Maddie’s Story

Maddie came to Ancora after trying numerous agencies for support to access a washing machine. Maddie is a working mum, with a 16-year-old son, who attends College, and eventually found Ancora’s details.  She had recently separated from her long term, abusive partner, and had managed to secure a private let, in her family area, but this came with a high monthly rental. She had wanted to be near to her Mum, who is registered Blind, for mutual support. She was working full time as a House Manager for a local University, looking after the students in the Halls of Residence, and loved her role.


She had moved to the new property with very little, but it was the lack of washing machine that impacted her the most.We applied for funding of the washing machine, directed her to the local Council for access to Discretionary Housing Payment and signposted her to Warm Homes Oldham for fuel credit, all of which she has managed to access. In addition, she has also changed her role at the University to a higher grade and has improved her income and her opportunities.

Meet Those Involved

By joining together we can do so much more to help the people of Oldham!

Connects vulnerable people to their community


Provides free debt help and local community groups

Helping local people in crisis

What Our Beneficiaries Have to Say

You really have helped me. I thought that when I was in my darkest hour, I didn't think there would be anybody willing to help me. I now know differently and feel so much more confident about my future.
I thought that Barbara was really kind and understood my feelings of anxiety without being patronising. Other services had made me feel stupid but Barbara was down to earth and like a normal everyday person.
Barbara was very helpful when I was in a crisis and made me feel like I could cope with what I had to do. She made me think that she was genuine, caring and helpful.
I can't thank you enough. You've really supported me through this bad period and now I have got all sorted out and I feel like I'm getting my life back on track.

Donate to Ancora and help fund the support we provide to those in need in Oldham