Morrisons donates plants to volunteers at community garden

Date published: 29 July 2020

Volunteers at the local community garden Petrus Incredible Edible Rochdale (PIER) were surprised to receive a donation from Morrisons as they returned on site for the first time since before lockdown was announced.

For the past seven years, PIER has worked to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals experiencing homelessness and the wider community through social and therapeutic horticulture.

When lockdown started back in March, the community allotment on Belfield Road had to shut its gates for nearly three months.

The award-winning team, which received both the Silver Medal and People’s Choice Award at the 2019 RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, were fearful of what they would find upon their return after weeks of the garden going unkept.

However, thanks to a generous donation from supermarket Morrisons, the volunteers were welcomed back with new flowers and plants to help restore the space.

Rina Paolucci, engagement and development worker at PIER, had been shopping in the Rochdale branch a few weeks ago when she approached the store’s duty manager, Michael Ford, to ask if Morrisons could help.

Michael was more than happy to assist and got in touch with the supermarket’s community champion, Emma Pedgrift, who invited Rina back to the store to choose some plants.


Emma Pedgrift from Morrisons
Emma Pedgrift from Morrisons


Rina said: "Like a kid in a sweet shop I was overwhelmed with the selection but decided on some edibles such as autumn raspberries, white currants and honeyberry fruit bushes.

“I also picked jasmine for its beautiful scent and a few shrubs to fill some gaps in the flower garden, as well as Virginia creeper and hardy pinks for colour.

“When the volunteers saw them, they were bowled over in astonishment and immediately started to discuss what should go where.

“On behalf of PIER and the volunteers, I’d like to say a big thank you to Michael, Emma and the team at Morrisons for supporting us and making our return back to PIER memorable."

For the time being, PIER remains closed to the public.

PIER is a service provided by homelessness charity Petrus based on Great George Street.

To support them to help rough sleepers and those in housing need, please donate online at:

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