On a small industrial estate, sandwiched between two vehicle repair shops, is a social enterprise making a big impact on the community of Rochdale.
The Petrus Community Store is owned and managed by Petrus Community, a homelessness charity which has been providing residential and support services in Rochdale since 1972. The store is run by staff and volunteers and sells donated goods to fund the charity’s work across the town.
Almost 90% of the goods donated to the store are recycled back into the community, meaning Rochdale residents are not only benefiting from great value clothing and furniture but in also putting their money straight back into the community.
Petrus also runs a voucher programme through the store. Service users and families living in crisis situations can get vouchers which can be used to purchase goods from the community store. In 2016, Petrus helped around 150 families through the scheme.
It’s not just through buying and selling discounted goods that the store helps the local community. Many of the volunteers are gaining experience to help them get back into work, gain confidence and make valuable friendships. The store also works with local colleges to offer training and opportunities to students with learning disabilities, while the store also has referrals from local mental health teams.
Pam Barrett, Petrus Community Store Manager, said: “I am really proud of everything that this store does for the local community, it is a true representation of what a social enterprise should be.
"I am really proud of everything that this store does for the local community, it is a true representation of what a social enterprise should be."
Pam Barrett, Petrus Community Store Manager
“Everybody knows that Rochdale and Greater Manchester is really struggling with homelessness at this current time and it is fantastic that the money this store makes is able to help provide vital services across the town.
“All of our stock has been quality controlled before going on the shelves and we also have a team of volunteer PAT testers making sure all electronic equipment is safe.
“Stores like ours also help reduce landfill waste, which has a huge impact on the environment and our planet.
“For me, it is really important the local people understand the benefits that this community store brings to Rochdale and its people.”
The Petrus Community Store is located at Unit 1, Hamer Lane, Rochdale, OL16 2UL and is open Monday – Friday, 9am-4pm and Saturday 10am-3pm.
You can find out more about Petrus and the work it does at Petrus.org.uk
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