Rochdale charities Sanctuary Trust and Petrus receive funding from Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity

Date published: 21 June 2020

Rochdale charities Petrus Community and Sanctuary Trust have received funding from the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, which has given more than £350,000 to frontline charities across the region.

These funds, donated by businesses and individuals, have gone to support the vital efforts of the voluntary, community and faith sectors, as they work flat-out to safeguard the health and wellbeing of people across Greater Manchester living without a home.

Head of Petrus, Sonia Denham said: “We really appreciate the support of the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity as we continue to work on the frontline, providing essential services for people in the community who have experienced homelessness or in housing need during a time they need our help most.

“Over the past few months, our services never stopped, instead we adapted how we delivered them. We even saw a rise in supporting people we’d previously had no contact with as individuals’ living situations changed. We believe now is the time that we look to the future, to work together as a community to make positive changes to build back better and end homelessness.

“This funding will support us to achieve this.”


Tony Lloyd MP with John Wigley from the Sanctuary Trust
Tony Lloyd MP with John Wigley from Sanctuary Trust (photo from 2019)


Sanctuary Trust’s regional manager, John Wigley said: “There are people in the borough of Rochdale who will not receive support for basic provisions because they are not linked to mainstream services such as NHS or adult care. These people traditionally access local soup kitchen etc but can’t anymore because of the Covid-19 pandemic. They are also being encouraged to stay at home but are in food poverty and this pandemic poses a genuine threat to life due to starvation. 

“In partnership with strategic housing and working through the Real Change cooperative, we have delivered over 1,200 food parcels to 300 houses every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday since lockdown began. 

“At all times we follow government guidelines on safe social distancing and personal hygiene. We have deployed over 30 volunteers; we have split Rochdale up into zones to help drivers with deliveries. We used the funding to coordinate this community led response, to manage volunteers and ensure company policy procedures are adhered to in this crisis. 

“We operated from the local reaching out centre – soup kitchen facility. We receive food from local supermarkets and wholesalers already, the partnership has also donated all our reserves.

“Without the support from funders like the Mayor’s charity, we wouldn’t have been able to provide such a vital lifeline to so many in the Rochdale borough.” 

Tim Heatley, chair of the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity’s board of trustees, added: “The impact these funds have had on essential frontline charities and the vulnerable people they support is indescribable and our hope is that they will have an impact not only with regards to the immediate need but in the long term.”

“With the generosity of those living in Greater Manchester, and the support of its business community, we may be able to end rough sleeping across our city-region all together.”

Thanks to countless people and businesses across the city region, the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity has been able to provide more than monetary donations – the charity also distributed essential items such as food parcels, toiletries, hygiene packages and technological equipment.

 After three phases of funding addressing immediate emergency provision, the fourth phase of the Emergency Response Fund from Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity was launched on 3 June. The aim is to support organisations working in the homelessness sector to begin to move from a state of emergency response into transition for the “living with Covid” phase and “building back better”.

The charity is looking specifically for schemes or projects that provide innovative solutions to a gap in provision within this challenging transitional time. Applications are for projects up to a maximum of £50,000 per organisation.

Please visit the website to view the application form or contact the charity if you have any queries on

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