The Rochdale Storehouse is a charity shop which sells furniture, household items, gifts, soft furnishings, children’s books, toys, and clothes. The shop offers many volunteering opportunities which help develop skills such as
- Learning good communication skills
- Working closely as a team
- Problem solving
- Confidence building
- Gaining qualifications
- Completing training courses
Since August we have taken on 14 new volunteers out of which four have moved into their own independent properties and 4 have progressed into employment. Due to lockdown and COVID-19 the shop is probably still making a loss with all the recent closures, but I believe that the general footfall is increasing. We are also looking at starting a Facebook online shop to generate some extra profit.
Champions scheme and Angies Angels
The Champions scheme and Angies angels runs side by side to provide people who are struggling or returning to their own property from homelessness with furniture and household items. The joint service has been widely used, Angies Angels basement has provided over 150 people with
- Work boots and coats which were kindly donated by John Shaw,
- Covid-19 sanitizing packs provided by the Rochdale Young Offenders
- Christmas gifts for The Step project residents and Holland house
- Christmas gift boxes to 100 people
- Covid-19 sanitizing packs to holland house and The Step project
- 10 Feminine hygiene packs to Food warehouse, RCT and a women’s hostel
- 5 Veterans Hampers
- 10 Sleeping bags for people who are struggling with heating cost or sleeping rough.
- Emergency food parcels for rough sleepers
- Thermal socks, gloves, hats to hostels as well as service users who walk in asking for help.
Working in close partnership the two projects have accomplished a lot since August we have supplied over 30 people with household support such as
- Helping a volunteer move into his own property.
- Household Start up packs (Bedding, Pans, Crockery, Cutlery, Pans)
- A couple of Sofas and other household items requested from RSI workers for emergencies.
- Several furniture Referrals from Bond board, Sanctuary crisis team, Community connectors
- Soft furnishing for people trying to make the property homely.
- Full house move and support for a family being bullied.
- Collecting office furniture and equipment
- Emergency furniture help working with the crisis team.
Service users access the shop daily, to ask for help with different issues, such as the need for clothing, household items or signposting to the RSI or crisis team. We encourage all our volunteers to interact and talk to the service users to try and signpost them to the correct person for the help they require. We teach all our volunteers to follow these guidelines.
- Complete online training
- Familiarize themselves with the different Sanctuary departments.
- Show Empathy
- Listen to what is being asked.
- Try to help to the best of their ability.
- Signpost the person to the correct member of staff.
- Never be afraid to ask for direction.
We currently have an excellent team and encourage them to the best of our ability. We are looking at extending our volunteering staff once COVID-19 restriction have been lifted, as well as starting some of the people on to external training courses.