Petrus helping bring joy to the disadvantaged this Christmas

Date published: 20 November 2020

Rochdale-based homelessness charity Petrus is calling on the local community to help spread festive cheer once again this holiday season by donating to the annual Petrus Christmas Gift Appeal.

For the past five years, Petrus Community Store has held a gift appeal for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, supporting local schools and children’s services in Rochdale and the North West, and adorned a Christmas tree in the store with the names and ages of children who are unlikely to receive a Christmas gift.

Through community support, Petrus have been able to gift around 2,000 presents to children come Christmas morning.

While the store remains temporarily closed due to national lockdown restrictions, they have adapted the appeal to ensure children do not go without this December by supporting Sure Start Centres, local schools and other agencies that work with children in the Rochdale borough.

Pam Barrett, Petrus Community Store Supervisor in Rochdale, said: “Christmas is usually a time of giving and cheer for so many of us but for those less fortunate, it can be really difficult. This year especially will have had an impact on many families’ ability to get gifts for one another and their little ones, meaning hundreds more children may go without.

“This appeal is something we’ve done for years and thanks to the kindness of individuals and businesses has led to 2,000 presents being donated to children in Rochdale and around the North West. We’re determined 2020 will be no different.

“Our appeal might not come with Christmas trees and gift tags this winter, but the joy it will bring to families remains the same.”


Petrus Christmas Gift Appeal - a store tag on the Christmas tree in 2018
Petrus traditionally adorn a Christmas tree in the store with the names and ages of children who are unlikely to receive a Christmas gift


Members of the public are invited to buy a new gift for a child aged between 0 months to 16 years, priced around £5 to £10, and arrange an appointment with Petrus’ team to deliver to the store.

Drop off appointments for the Christmas Gift Appeal are available all-day Thursdays and Fridays, but they may be able to be flexible. To arrange a drop off, call 01706 341189 or Store Supervisor Pam on 07587 770 969 (between 10am to 3pm, Monday – Friday).

Gifts can also be posted directly to the Petrus store (Unit 1, Hamer Lane, Rochdale, OL16 2UL) but please take into consideration delivery time. Deadline for getting gifts to the store is Friday 4 December.

Anyone making donations are asked to bring the presents unwrapped but placed in a plastic bag, with a sticker or tag stating the age and gender the gift is for,  to minimise handling. However, people can provide wrapping paper if they wish.

All donations will undergo a 72-hour quarantine period before being shared with services working with children and families.

Petrus are also accepting online donations and will use the money to purchase presents on your behalf:


Hats, scarves, gloves, stock image
Petrus is also searching for essential winter items to help homeless and vulnerable people


As the weather gets colder and harsher, Petrus is also on the hunt for winter donations for the homeless in order to help keep vulnerable people living on the streets warm.

If you have bought yourself a new winter coat, or been given yet another hat and glove set that you really won’t use, consider clearing your cupboards and donate your unwanted winter clothes to Petrus, who provides residential and day support services to people who are homeless or in housing need.

The charity needs: warm winter clothes, hats, scarves, gloves, socks, blankets and sleeping bags and tents.

You can arrange to drop-off your donations at the Petrus Hub on Great George Street, Rochdale by calling 01706 526 289 (Monday - Friday, 9am to 4pm). Alternatively, you can make a monetary donation online via Virgin Money Giving.

For more information about either of these appeals, contact the Petrus Store:

Do you have a story for us?

Let us know by emailing
All contact will be treated in confidence.

To contact the Rochdale Online news desk, email or visit our news submission page.

To get the latest news on your desktop or mobile, follow Rochdale Online on Twitter and Facebook.

While you are here...

...we have a small favour to ask; would you support Rochdale Online and join other residents making a contribution, from just £3 per month?

Rochdale Online offers completely independent local journalism with free access. If you enjoy the independent news and other free services we offer (event listings and free community websites for example), please consider supporting us financially and help Rochdale Online to continue to provide local engaging content for years to come. Thank you.

Support Rochdale Online