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Wonderwall Wins Outstanding In Bloom Award Once Again

8 November 2023

The Wonderwall at the Crown Oil Arena has once again achieved the Outstanding Level 5 award at the North West In Bloom awards.

Harvey and Mohammed (pictured), learners from Rochdale AFC Community Trust’s Training Ground programme, were on hand to collect the award at Bolton Wanderers’ Toughsheet Community Stadium.

The Training Ground programme helps young people into education, training, or employment.

It is aimed at young learners with criminal convictions, or a care leaver aged between 18-25.

Over the course of the programme, individuals will take part in activities around employment, including CV writing, job searching, digital skills and more. With different ways of learning, individuals can be supported face-to-face or over the phone.

You can learn more about Harvey’s journey on the Training Ground programme by watching the video below, via our official YouTube channel.

A group of learners from the programme came together back in June, along with supporters who volunteered and Rochdale AFC Directors, for the annual replanting of the Wonderwall on Sandy Lane.

The team worked hard across two planting sessions to brighten up the feature, which first came to fruition back in 2017.

The sessions allowed Training Ground learners to use and develop their communication, teamwork, planning and problem-solving skills that they have been working on in the programme.

Interested to know more about the Training Ground programme? Please contact

We will again be looking for volunteers for next year’s Wonderwall planting sessions, details of which will be confirmed in Spring/early Summer 2024.

The feature was first brought to life in 2017, when Rochdale in Bloom volunteers, club staff and supporters came together to transform the disused area of land at the back of the Crown Oil Arena’s Sandy Lane into a colourful, eye-catching feature.

It is dedicated to the memory of former Director Paul Hazlehurst and Dale fan Stephen Murray, aka Moggy, who spent many matches in the Sandy Lane before passing away last year.

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