Upturn, the multi award winning Oldham-based social enterprise dedicated to creating positive change in the local community is celebrating its 20th trading year anniversary.

For over two decades Upturn, led by co-founders Anwar Ali OBE and Maria Williams, has provided unwavering commitment and support to disadvantaged local communities across Oldham, Rochdale and the Northwest has transformed more than 15,000 lives of residents from across those communities and supported over 2,000 local businesses unlock potential.

Upturn, which started as a pilot project before officially starting to trade from 12th October 2004 has delivered over £4 million pounds of funded projects following grants from government bodies, national and regional grants as well as private corporate contacts.

Anwar Ali OBE, Co-Founder and CEO of Upturn: “This 20th anniversary is a testament to the incredible resilience and determination of the people, communities we have been fortunate to serve. We are immensely proud of what we have achieved together, and we look forward to the next 20 years of continued progress and positive change.”


Over the past 20 years, Upturn has become a beacon of hope and inspiration for Greater Manchester in particular Oldham residents, consistently demonstrating the power of community-driven change.

Upturn is split into three core areas: Upturn People, which aims to unlock talent and aspirations, Upturn Communities, which enables communities to prosper and safe spaces to be created, and Upturn Enterprise, which helps entrepreneurs through the key stages to start their own business as well as working with established companies to strengthen local community ties.

Some of the highlights of Upturn’s 20-Year journey include:

  • Enterprise

Supporting and guide entrepreneurs through all key stages – idea, setup, start up, ways to grow. Working with established businesses to help them rebalance recruitment strategies so that they find and recruit the skills and talent needed, strengthen local community ties and unlocking potential.

  • Employment Opportunities:

Upturn has been a leading force in creating job opportunities for individuals who face barriers to employment. Through various programs, they have helped thousands of Oldham residents gain vital skills and secure meaningful employment.

  • Community Engagement:

Upturn has consistently engaged with the local community, fostering a sense of belonging and empowerment. Through events, workshops, and outreach programs, Upturn has helped residents build strong social bonds and strengthen community ties.

  • Education and Training:

The team at Upturn work closely with local training and education providers to help empower individuals to acquire new skills, develop talents, and reach their full potential.

Maria Williams, Co-Founder of Upturn, added: “Our core value at Upturn is to make a real, positive difference to the people and communities we serve. We couldn’t be prouder of each and every person who we have been able to support over the last 20 years and we look forward to what we can achieve together over the next 20 years.”