Friends of Parent Carers open first shop in Rochdale

Date published: 13 August 2015

Friends of Parent Carers, a charity that offers support to parents who look after a disabled child/children, has opened its first charity shop in Rochdale Town Centre.

Located on Yorkshire Street, the shop has opened as a way of raising money to pay for treats and respite breaks for parents.

Speaking to Rochdale Online, Elly Johnston, who founded the charity, said: “We have only been open two weeks and it has gone really well so far, I am really chuffed. In our first week we raised £500. If we could raise a couple of hundred pound every week, then I could save that up and take about 40 parents away.”

Friends of Parent Carers was set up seven years ago after Elly realised that Rochdale needed something that offered help and support to parent carers.

“I was working at a support centre in Manchester and I just thought that Rochdale could do with something similar,” said Elly. “I was really lucky that the council gave me the contract and seven years later, we are still here.”

Elly, from Rochdale, is a parent carer to her daughter, who has profound and multiple learning and physical disabilities.

She added: “We cover the whole of the Rochdale borough and originally started with 16 families, but now we have around 500. We have a drop in centre three days a week at Castleton Community Centre and now we have the shop. All of our staff are parent carers so we all have experience.”

It is hoped that more shops to support the charity will be opened in the future, but for now, Elly is focused on the Yorkshire Street shop.

She added: “We have already been offered a second shop but it is not something we can do at the minute. We don’t have enough staff and volunteers, so I think once this one has got off of the ground a bit, we can look at more, but it is definitely something for the future.”

The shop is looking for donations and is open between 10am and 3pm, Monday to Friday and is located at 140 Yorkshire Street. Big items can also been collected with prior arrangement.

If you would like to volunteer at the shop, contact Elly on 01706 351977 for more information.

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