Welcome to Petrus Community
Craig Lee House
25 Church Lane
Tel: 01706 345844
Fax: 01706 713151
These are exciting times for Petrus Community. In the last couple of months Petrus has been undergoing some dramatic changes - all to the good. We have received funding from the Homeless Transition Fund, from the Health and Social Care Volunteer Fund and from the local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group to help us with our work as follows:
- Step up Rochdale - No Second Night Out (see press release) - in partnership with the Bond Board
- Step up Rochdale - BHealthy project - developing a volunteering project to work with service uses
- Step up Rochdale - Lodgings scheme - developing a volunteer lodgings scheme for short placements
- Green Gym Worker - developing various gardening projects with Petrus service user in the community
- Coppice Street, Oldham - Petrus has taken over management of a Regenda property in Oldham to provide ongoing support to men with enduring low level support needs
The Petrus Community is now committed to developing and sustaining three major strands of work:
- Petrus People - with the Univalet partnership with Manchester University that started in November 2012 and the Petrus Store which will be opening imminently.
- Step up Rochdale - as above.
- Petrus Supported Housing - Petrus continues to manage a range of supported housing services in Rochdale – and now in Oldham.
To reflect all these developments, we will need to update our website significantly over the next few weeks and ask you to bear with us for the time those changes are taking place.
Chair of Trustees
About The Petrus Community
The Petrus Community has been providing supported housing and related services to homeless people since 1972. We're a registered charity and company limited by guarantee. We provide residential and day support services for people in housing need throughout the Borough of Rochdale, including Rochdale South and Middleton.
Petrus believes people should have access to safe, secure, quality housing. We exist to support a wide range of people in housing need and develop their skills, independence and choice. We have a strong commitment to actively involving the people who use our services in shaping how we work.
Homelessness Debate in Parliament
There was a debate on homelessness in Parliament on 18 December 2013. The following is an extract from the contribution to the debate by Simon Danczuk, the MP for Rochdale.
'The Petrus homelessness project in Rochdale has achieved an incredible amount on an exceptionally tight budget, even though it has faced severe budget cuts. If it were not for Petrus, dozens of people in Rochdale would have died prematurely as a result of homelessness. If politicians are serious about addressing homelessness, they should watch a video called “RoofLess” that Petrus produced with Community Arts North West which shows homeless people telling everyone about their fragile, damaged lives and how they ended up becoming homeless. I went to the launch of that video a week ago, and it is well worth watching.'
Philip Foster - Deputy Coordinator - January 2014
The first link below will take you to a short film, Inspiring Stories, made about the BHealthy scheme. Petrus worked with Community Arts Northwest and filmmaker Lee Kirby to produce this film. It’s a very cheery piece about the positive impact of BHealthy and our work with volunteers:
The second link, below, is the link for the Roofless and There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk films both produced as part of the Digital Sparks Project. The film was produced by Petrus, Community Arts Northwest and the Albino Mosquito film company.
Happy viewing and feel free to share as you wish.
Philip Foster - Deputy Coordinator - December 2013
The Petrus Community Store Opens
After a year of hard effort, The Petrus Community Store will be opening for business in the first week of December 2013.
The store is located in Hamer Lane, Rochdale.
Initially the store will be Open Wednesday to Saturday, 10.00 am – 3.00 pm
We've had fantastic support in developing the store from community groups, from individuals and from Rochdale Council officers and councillors. In particular the Rotary Club of Rochdale to arranged a couple of days to help us out but they just keep on coming and doing amazing work. The Lovick’s van appears regularly with beds and suites to donate. And we can’t forget to mention the countless individuals who have volunteered their time and energy into getting us this far and will hopefully continue to help us in some way into the next phase.
A big thank you to you all.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
Julie Royds, Administration Manager - November 2013
Petrus People - Green Gym Newsletter
Hamer Community Store - Volunteers Needed
Petrus is looking for volunteers to work at its Community Store in Hamer.
Green-fingered Visit for Team at Homeless Charity
Staff and volunteers from Rochdale-based charity the Petrus Community revved up for a masterclass in using garden powertools.
The team from M&Y - the repairs and maintenance arm of leading North West housing group, Regenda - spent the day at Petrus's Green Gym in Besiwcke Royds Street.
Petrus, which provides a range of services including housing and support to people who have been homeless, operates the Green Gym to provide horticultural training for service users. It also encourages them to engage with the local community through a variety of gardening projects, such as working on the grounds of St Peter's Church in Newbold.
Darrel Rogers, Garden Contracts Manager for M&Y, visited the gym with other members of his team. The training included looking at health and safety, correctly using the gardening equipment, and a display of tree management.
Attendees were also shown how to handle larger petrol-powered equipment.
He said: "We really enjoyed our time with Petrus, and luckily the weather was on our side. Everyone really got involved, and hopefully it will improve their skills and contribute to the success of their project."
Two local councillors, Karen Burke and Daalat Ali, and Janet Hardwick from Regenda also came along on the day.
Martin Topham, Project Manager at Beswicke Royds Street, said: "Everyone who took part found the class to be extremely informative and useful. It's helped the team feel more confident, and given them the knowledge to successfully and safely carry out these kinds of tasks in the community."
The picture shows representatives from M&Y and Petrus on the training day along with local partners.
Philip Foster - Deputy Coordinator - July 2013
A fresh start at UniValet - and free car cleaning for two lucky customers!
13 Jun 2013
The UniValet service has a new clean and gleam team, who will keep your vehicles shiny across the summer months.
Derrick, David and Mark had been long-term unemployed, but had demonstrated their commitment to getting back into work by attending a pre-employment course. As a result, they were offered interviews with Petrus, which operates the UniValet service as a partner of the University.
Two members of the team live in areas close to the campus, where the University aims to create employment links and support local communities. They were all thrilled to be back in the world of work on 20 May. Well done to them!
The previous team of trainees has used the experience, skills and training gained during their time with UniValet to move onward and upward. They are currently either in paid or volunteer work, or are receiving support from The Works, the skills centre established by the University in 2011, to obtain further employment at the University in the hospitality or construction areas. Their UniValet employment has provided a great springboard for them.
The new ‘gleam team’ will continue to work under the training and support of Team Leader Darren Vickers. Darren has now led the service for seven months and will ensure that the new team continues to deliver the same high standard of service that earns compliment from customers and keeps them returning.
Two lucky customers get free cleans
To celebrate their success so far, the UniValet team has given free cleans to two of their customers.
Gaynor Newsome from the Directorate of Finance was the first customer ever to book a UniValet clean and coincidentally has also made the most bookings. She said: “I’ve used UniValet right from the start and can’t speak highly enough of it – a top-rate, reliable service; it’s like the fairies came and left my car gleaming. The fact that it offers the team members the opportunity to develop confidence, self-esteem and skills that will improve their chances of further employment makes this service all the more appealing.”
Craig Grindrod's car was the first vehicle to be cleaned by the new team and he too has been a regular customer. Craig, who works in Media Services, has been really pleased with the service: “I have used UniValet many times and I’m always surprised by how clean they manage to get my old car. The service is excellent and beats queuing up at the car wash any time.”
The photo shows (left to right): Craig, Mark, David, Derrick, Gaynor and Darren - with Gaynor's gleaming car.
Not tried the 'gleam team' yet? Cleaning still costs only £5!
Rochdale Artists Support the Petrus Community
An exhibition of paintings at Number Ten Gallery, Baillie Street, Rochdale
Colin Fielding, Lorraine Dewhirst & Colin Gilbert
With Special Guest Walter Kershaw
29th June 2013 - 26th July 2013
Preview night 28th June 2013 at 7.00pm
Tickets £2 - refreshments
In aid of Petrus Community, Charity No 510904
For tickets and further information please contact Petrus administration Office, Craig Lee House, 25 Church Lane, Rochdale, OL16 1nr, telephone number 01706 345844, email email@example.com
Rotary Club of Rochdale
Denis Skelton, Petrus co-ordinator is presented with a cheque donation from David Smithard, President of the Rotary Club of Rochdale
A generous donation of £1,500 has been made by the Rotary Club of Rochdale will be put towards the development of Petrus’ social enterprises, which include the Petrus Community Store which is due to open shortly.
The Petrus Community Store will soon be accepting donations of furniture, household goods, bric-a-brac and clothing which will be repaired, recycled and sold.
The Petrus Community Store activities will both help raise funds for our frontline service and provide training, volunteering and employment opportunities for local people.
All money raised via the social enterprise activities will go towards helping to sustain and develop our work with local people who are homeless and/or in housing need.
If you can help in anyway and/or wish to find out more please contact Claire Jefferies, Social Enterprise Manager on telephone number 01706 651949, mobile 07807412462 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Petrus Newsletter - May 2013
To read about Petrus work with volunteers, Step Up Rochdale, Long Street supporters group, the Petrus AGM and issues around welfare reform, download the May 2013 issue of Petrus News
BHealthy Launch Day
On Wednesday 16th May the Petrus Community launched our BHealthy project. BHealthy’s aim is to support individuals to engage with health services and for their health and quality of life to improve.
The event, held at Petrus Hub, was attended by around forty people. Those attendees were Petrus service users, the new BHealthy volunteers and some Petrus staff. We utilized health awareness resources from the Croft Shifa health unit. This involved a range of learning aids and tools, games and leaflets aimed at engaging as many people in health issues.
The interactive body map and beer goggles proved to be two of the most popular learning tools that people used. The map allows you to connect feelings and issues with phrases we use relating to our bodies, such as ‘ broken hearted’ or ‘knot in my stomach’. There was much discussion and sharing about physical and mental health issues which came from this exercise. When the beer goggles are put on over your eyes they replicate how your sense of balance is affected when you are drunk.
Other aspects of the event that were popular included the cycle of change poster and information boards on men and women’s health issues such as depression, stress and cancer.
This was the first such BHealthy event and we will be holding group sessions in the future which will be focussed on health areas that service users want to look into and talk about. The relaxed atmosphere allowed BHealthy volunteers to engage with service users. A number of people decided that the service would be helpful and useful to them and they took part in completing minimal paperwork in order to get the ball rolling on improving their health. The BHealthy morning clearly acted as a catalyst for some individuals.
In the next few weeks BHealthy volunteers will work with these new service users to identify and assess their primary health needs and signpost them to the relevant services within the borough. Volunteers will then support service users in arranging and attending appointments and making positive changes to their health.
If you think BHealthy may be useful to you in improving your health or you are interested in becoming a BHealthy volunteer then please see details on this website or call Chris Woodward on (01706) 351657.
Volunteer recruitment session - 9 April 2013
Petrus is looking to recruit a number of volunteers from the community for its BHealthy project, the Step up Rochdale Lodgings scheme, its Green Gym gardening project and for the upcoming Petrus Store.
- For more details see our Jobs/Volunteers page
Volunteer introductory session - 26 March 2013
On Tuesday 26 March, Petrus held an introductory session for our new volunteer opportunities.
Deputy co-ordinator Phil Foster welcomed everyone and then the 4 Petrus staff responsible explained the new developments at Petrus.
Potential volunteers were made aware of BHealthy, Green Gym, Petrus People and the Community Store and the Step Up Lodgings Scheme.
The group then discussed positive outcomes for both service users and volunteers and practical points that volunteering with Petrus will entail.
A 2nd volunteer welcome session will be held on Tuesday 9th April from 1 pm onwards at the Petrus Hub.
If you wish to talk to Petrus staff re volunteering or attending this session then please see our Jobs/Volunteers page for details.
ROCHDALE AWARDED NEW FUNDING TO HELP END ROUGH SLEEPING
Rochdale is one of 22 communities to benefit from a grant to help ensure that no-one spends a second night on the street.
12 people are estimated to be sleeping rough on any one night in Rochdale.
Local charity Petrus, in partnership with the Bond Board, has been awarded £199,108 to help Rochdale get rough sleepers off the streets, into secure accommodation and back on track.
The funding follows the launch of Streetlink, a new hotline and website which enables concerned members of the public to help connect a rough sleeper with local advice and services. This new grant will help Rochdale deliver the Streetlink promise to provide the first step towards connecting rough sleepers with the support available to them.
The Petrus award will provide a hub of support for rough-sleepers. Petrus will work to identify rough-sleepers on the street and use the Hub as a base for assessment, support, reconnection and onward referral. The Bond Board will identify four private sector tenancies to accommodate rough-sleepers. The project will promote its work and encourage community support for rough sleepers.
Welcoming the news, Housing Minister Mark Prisk said:
"We have some of the strongest protections in the world against homelessness, and our £20 million investment to ensure nobody should have to face a second night on the streets is a key part of this. Today's £199,108 for Rochdale will mean that Petrus will help make this a reality. And with the addition of new rough sleeping hotline Streetlink, people who want to make a difference in Rochdale can now take a very simple step to connect rough sleepers quickly to the help they need."
Commenting, Sharon Allen, Chair of the Fund's Grants Panel said:
"Anyone can become homeless and life on the streets is damaging and dangerous. We know that some people sleeping rough may not be known to local services and not all rough sleepers are aware that advice and services are available."
"We hope this funding will ensure more rough sleepers in Rochdale get the support they need. You can also help, save the StreetLink number - 0300 500 0914 - on your phone right now and next time your concerned about someone sleeping rough, make a call."
Welcoming the grant, Denis Skelton, Petrus Community Coordinator, said:
"I am really pleased that Step-Up Rochdale had been successful in its application to the Homeless Transition fund. The project will be a boost in consolidating the partnership between Petrus and the Bond Board who have been working together in Rochdale for a number of years."
"It's good news for Rochdale bringing resources in at a time when they are most needed. Most important, it's good news for vulnerable homeless people in the Borough."
"It will help reduce the number of nights people are spending living on the streets and get people quickly into accommodation while making sure they get the kind of support that will stop them ending up back on the street again. Petrus and the Bond Board will be working hard to make sure those who receive support get more than accommodation and are supported into work and education to get them back on the road to independence."
Administered by umbrella organisation Homeless Link and funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the grant is part of £3,600,000 being awarded to 22 areas by the Homelessness Transition Fund, which was set up to help support the Government's rough sleeping strategy ‘Vision to end rough sleeping: No Second Night Out nationwide'. Over 35 communities across England have already received funding to help put the right services in place so no one spends a second night out.
People can take action to help rough sleepers in Rochdale at www.streetlink.org.uk or by calling 0300 500 0914.
- Ends -
For further information contact Cheryl Campsie or Rachel Gurr on 0207 403 2230
Launch of UniValet
Petrus UniValet car cleaning service, operated in partnership with Manchester University, was officially launched on 1st November 2012 by Dame Nancy Rothwell, Vice-Chancellor and President of Manchester University. The purpose of this new social enterprise is to help people back into the job market and potentially into employment at Manchester University which is the largest employer in Manchester. Dame Nancy is pictured with the UniValet team and partners who brought the scheme into operation.
You can read more about the launch here.
Philip Foster - Deputy Coordinator - November 2012
100k Manchester Bike Ride
Petrus staff took part in the Christies annual 100k Manchester Bike Ride in September.
For the Rochdale Observer report please click here.
Petrus Newsletter - September 2012
Download our September newsletter here: Petrus Newsletter - September 2012
Homeless Games in Liverpool
6th & 7th September 2012
A group of 16 service users attended the 3rd homeless games held at Waverly sports centre in Liverpool. Activities included football, cricket, tennis, table tennis, darts, badminton, cycling, swimming, along with less strenuous activities such as board games, art workshops and computer sessions. On the day service users also had the chance to see a team of dentists, opticians and various beauty therapists. Food was provided throughout the day and all in all in was very well organised.
Although Petrus may not have won many gold medals everyone who attended had a great couple of days out. We made some new friends and service users were able to try a few new sports and get information about improved general physical and mental wellbeing. The games will hopefully run again next year and everyone would be made more than welcome.
Philip Foster - Deputy Coordinator - September 2010
Petrus Newsletter - April 2012
Download our April newsletter here: Petrus Newsletter - April 2012
Green Gym Helps Community to Blossom
The Petrus Community, which supports local homeless people, has secured a one-off grant of nearly £1,500 to develop a gardening project at their Beswicke Royds Street supported housing scheme.
The funding was awarded by the Rochdale Township Committee and The Regenda Group to create a 'Green Gym' which will include a greenhouse, horticultural training for the service users and gardening equipment.
Local Councillor Karen Burke, who along with Councillor Daalat Ali supported the Township bid, said "Fourteen residents at the project are working with Rikki Holroyd, the caretaker at the scheme, to produce hanging baskets and other plants, some of which will be given to local elderly and disabled residents on the estate."
Petrus will also help tidy up their gardens and future plans include growing vegetables and fruit.
The project has been designed to improve the health and well-being of the service users by encouraging them to work with the local community, whilst at the same time improving the environment in which they live. Overgrown gardens will be cleared to discourage fly-tipping and vandalism and birds and butterflies will be encouraged into the gardens with improved planting.
Andy Carberry, Head of Independent Living at Regenda, said: "We are incredibly proud of the partnership we have developed with Petrus over a number of years, and are delighted to have the opportunity to help fund this project."
"We hope the equipment will go some way to offering the residents at the scheme the right tools to improve their gardening skills, whilst also helping other vulnerable people."
Donna Bowler, Head of the Council's Strategic Housing Service, said: "I am delighted with Petrus' initiative, which will not only help improve the local environment but also support better community links in the area."
Denis Skelton - Petrus Coordinator - March 2012
Bernard Gallagher, Lynda Robinson,
Simon Danczuk and Jim Dobbin
by the opening plaque
Everybody gets hands-on
with the hanging baskets
Beswicke Royds Street Official Opening
In June Petrus closed its project at River Street and relocated to 90 Beswicke Royds Street. The official opening ceremony of the new project took place on 4th November 2011. Bernard Gallagher, C.E.O of the Regenda Group, the developers of the property, officiated and during his speech reflected on the long standing relationship Regenda has had with Petrus. The event was filmed by Petrus and a D.V.D will be produced to mark the event. The day was attended by the M.Ps for Rochdale and for Heywood and Middleton, Simon Danczuk and Jim Dobbin, as well as a number of local councillors, service users and Petrus staff. An excellent buffet was prepared by Petrus staff which was enjoyed by all and a demonstration of making hanging baskets was given by the caretaker, Rikki Holroyd, in which a number of the guests participated.
Martin Topham - Project Leader, Beswicke Royds Street - November 2011
Petrus and Rochdale Probation Service - Women's Intervention Project re-launch
The re-launch of the Women's Intervention Project event on Monday 7 November was attended by over 65 people from various different agencies from around the borough. There was an awards ceremony for all the women who had completed various workshops who were presented with a certificate of recognition for their hard work. The presentation by Emily Lamb (Magistrate and Board Member of the Greater Manchester probation service).
The Women's Intervention Project is a partnership between Petrus and the Probation Service. It is an environment that provides a realistic and robust alternative to custody. The group is also open to women in the community so that it offers a holistic approach to rehabilitation. There is provision for structured group work which looks at various empowering topics, such as health and wellbeing, financial management, first aid, harm minimisation, substance misuse and mental health. There is a big emphasis in the group on peer support. It is also a forum that has taken a multi-agency approach in providing workshops with the women. Some of these have been cancer awareness, smoking cessation, healthy eating, dental hygiene and domestic violence. The probation service has also incorporated their health trainers to do on going work with the women which has proved to be a real success within the group.
Petrus is very happy to have such a successful partnership with the Probation Service and we are really starting to see positive results for the women and the local community. I would like to thank the women and the staff for all the hard work that makes this exciting partnership a real success.
Jonathan Wilmot - Petrus Hub Project Leader - 08 November 2011
What's in a name?
Petrus Trustees have decided to rename the Day Centre. From now on it will be known as the Petrus Hub.
The change reflects how the project has become a proactive service provider to Petrus and other homelessness services in the Borough, running a range of services including the Roughsleeper and Outreach services, training and individual support for the homeless or those at risk.
Philip Foster - Deputy Coordinator - December 2010
3rd annual sponsored walk around Hollingworth Lake
Petrus held its 3rd annual sponsored walk around Hollingworth Lake on Saturday 11 September, to raise money which will go towards the provision of services for homeless people in Rochdale.
Among the 30 Petrus supporters who took part in the sponsored walk were Councillors. Daalat Ali and Rosemary Jones. Simon Danczuk MP also attended to show his support.
Denis Skelton, Co-ordinator for Petrus said 'we are delighted at the turnout on what was a very wet miserable morning and we hope to raise in the region of £1,000 from this event. A big thank you to everyone who helped plan the event and who took part'.
Philip Foster - Deputy Coordinator - September 2010
Rochdale MBC Cabinet Member Visits the Day Centre
Councillor Keith Swift, The Cabinet Member for Skills and Economic Recovery, visited the Day Centre on 25 August. He spent a couple of hours with a large number of Petrus service users at one of the Cook and Eat groups organised at the Day Centre. Councillor Swift clearly enjoyed his time with the service users and at the end was able to sit down and share an impressve meal that they put together.
Philip Foster - Deputy Coordinator - August 2010
Rotary Club of Rochdale Donations
Peter Galvin, Petrus Trustee, recently accepted a cheque for £500 from Dr Elvet Smith, Chair of the Rotary Club of Rochdale. Altogether, the Rotary Club has raised £1,500 this year for Petrus. Thanks to all who have been involved in this effort on our behalf.
Petrus is seeking to recruit volunteers to assist in our Day Centre kitchen, particularly in the preparation of breakfast food. Help is needed Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 10.30am.
» more information...
PETRUS DAY CENTRE - NEW ACTIVITIES & WORKSHOPS
Petrus has secured £10,000 from the Rochdale's Health & Wellbeing Fund to deliver health related workshops and activities over the next year.
The workshops and activities will be run from our Day Centre and will include arts & crafts, cooking, keep fit, smoking cessation, a walking group, swimming and much much more.
The activities and workshops will be open to people living in the Borough of Rochdale who are in supported housing, people without any accommodation and those who have their own tenancy but need support to maintain it.
We hope to commence running the programme of workshops and activities from July 2010.
In addition Rochdale College are also to commence running 'bite sized' short courses at the Day Centre over the next couple of months. Courses will cover a wide range of IT and literacy related matters.
All the courses and activities are FREE and run in a relaxed and inclusive manner.
For further information contact Petrus Day Centre, telephone number 01706 526289, email email@example.com.
Denis Skelton - Coordinator - June 2010
Petrus Trustee Recruitment
On 17 June, Petrus had an evening event aimed at recruiting new trustees. Lynda Robinson, Chair of Petrus, introduced the proceedings. Chris Blackwell, a founder member of Petrus, spoke about how and why petrus was established. Finally, Pat Culkin talked about the responsibilities and duties of a trustee. The event was well attended and was hopefull successful in recruiting a number of new trustees.
Anybody wishing to find out more about becoming a trustee should contact Denis Skelton on 01706 345844.
Philip Foster - Deputy Coordinator - June 2010
Successful Assessment of the Roughsleeper Service
The Roughsleeper service had a verification visit recently by the Rochdale Supporting People team, looking at our assessment and support planning processes. We're happy to say that the assessment was a very positive one and overall awarded a level A. This reflects the high value we place working to engage service users effectively and on working in partnership with relevent agencies in and around Rochdale. At the same time we were pleased to hear that the contract for the service has been extended until next March. Congratulations to Sue, Chris and Sonia for their great work.
Philip Foster - Deputy Coordinator - June 2010
Andy Whitaker, a Petrus Service user, who is just about to move into a place of his own, is currently featuring in a poster campaign whilst highlights the fantastic progress he's made in his life in the past few years.
You can read more about Andy's success by following these links.
We wish Andy all best for his future - particularly the prospective modelling jobs!!!
Claire Jefferies - Project Leader Floating Support - March 2010
Falinge women learn to build with the Jericho Project.
Ideas Wanted for Diversity Events
We're looking to organise a series of events for staff/service users to take place perhaps on a monthly basis, around bringing in groups relevant to the theme of diversity. The idea is to be as diverse about hearing from diverse groups as we can!
We'll be looking to build a programme and are looking for any ideas staff or service users might have about groups we might contact for this. The list of kinds of groups is practically endless – any groups addressing needs around gender, ethnicity, sexuality, health, age, belief etc is potentially relevant. Also these groups do not specifically need to be based in Rochdale.
If staff or service users have specific suggestions for groups they think might be important then please let me know. You can use the form at http://www.petrus.org.uk/contact.php or use the above address to write if you have any ideas.
Philip Foster - Deputy Coordinator - 1 February 2010
The Rotary Club Donation
Petrus has recently received a substantial donation from The Rotary Club. You can read more by following this link.
For more information please follow the link: www.rochdaleonline.co.uk.
Petrus Roughsleepers Project - First Year Report
The Petrus Roughsleepers project was commissioned for one year in September 2008 by Rochdale Supporting People in partnership with Rochdale MBC Homelessness. It's aim was to address issues relating to rough sleeping in the Borough. Petrus started the contract in mid-September 2008. In September 2009 the service was extended for a further year.
You can read more about the service's successful first year in this report.
Petrus Trainee Development used as a National Case Study
The way Petrus has developed Trainee posts on the Roughsleeper Project for people who have previosuly experienced homelessness has been used by Thamesreach as a case study to promote service user employment nationally.
For more information please follow the link: www.thamesreach.org.uk
Petrus Community Day
Petrus held a Community Day at Castlemere Community Centre on 25 October 2009 which was attended by more than 100 service users, staff and trustees.
Amongst other activities, service users from Falinge Road and Ruth House put on a fashion show and staff from Long Street did a much appreciated presentation of cooking. There was a stall of items of embroidery and of Christmas Cards by service users. The event was a huge success and you can read more about it here: Rochdale Online.
Petrus welcomes Pat Culkin
Petrus is glad to welcome Pat Culkin onto the Board of Trustees. Pat has long experience in the Social Sector, working most recently, ahead of retirement as the District Manager of the Probation Service in Rochdale. He was also Chair of the Rochdale MBC Commissioning Board for Supporting People. We are sure that Pat's experience will be of great value to Petrus.
A sponsored walk around Hollingworth Lake on September 5th in aid of the work of the Petrus, is hoped to have raised around £1,000, which will go towards the provision of services and activities at Petrus' day centre service. The Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor Keith Swift and Suzanne Etchells, supported the event. 30 members and supporters of Petrus took part on the day despite driving rain.
Amongst the supporters were Paul Rowen MP & Cllrs. Rosemary Jones & Robin Parker who celebrated his 65th birthday by taking part in the walk and raised sponsorship for Petrus in lieu of birthday presents. Petrus Co-ordinator, Denis Skelton said 'the sponsored walk has become an annual event and we wish to give a big thanks to all the members and supporters for turning out in such appalling weather to support our work.'
The walk raised £1142.50.
Christmas Cards by Belly Button
At Christmas a set of Christmas cards will be available for sale from which Petrus will earn a contribution per sale. This has been arranged in partnership with Bellybutton, a Manchester based company who produce a variety of cards. For more news on this visit the Bellu Button web site, www.bellybuttondesigns.com and have a look in the news/more news section.
Long Street Take Female Referrals
As of July our house in Middleton at Long Street has now started accepting female residents. This is working well with two female residents already at Long Street. Staff are happy to answer enquires about this development.
Nicki Pilkington, Deputy Coordinator, left Petrus in August after working at Petrus for over 15 years. Staff and trustees are well aware of the hard work that Nicki put in in her time with Petrus and want to wish her well for the future.
Vacancies for Trainees
In an innovative partnership with Rochdale Council, Petrus seeks to recruit two trainees, resident in Rochdale, who have had experience of homelessness. They will work with Petrus on a part time basis for a fixed twelve month term, supporting homeless people on it's "Roughsleepers Project".
This will be an ideal opportunity for somebody who has actually received homelessness support services to bring their experience to bear in a work setting to receive training and experience in providing support themselves and hopefully lead on to full time employment in the sector.
Philip Foster, Manager of the Petrus Roughsleeper project said: "We're grateful to Rochdale Council and to the CLG, who are funding the post. This is an opportunity to show that even having been homeless, you can go on to contribute to your community, support yourself and others, and that you can do it in a paid capacity".
New referral system
As of April 6th Petrus is operating a new simplified referral system which aims to improve access to Petrus' supported housing services, by introducing a more streamlined and efficient route in to our services. There are now just two routes in to the agency, one for male & one for female, with a quicker turn-around for interviewing applicants and making decisions on acceptance. For further details see the referrals information on the website.
Supporting People review of single homelessness
Supporting People are concluding a review of single homeless services within the Borough and we expect to be fully engaged in the outcomes of that review, which we hope will help to improve services and create better 'joined up' working arrangements.
Petrus is planning to hold a Community Day during the Autumn which will involve & be open to all service users, trustees and staff. The day will be both fun and involving. If you are involved in Petrus and wish to take a part in planning the day please contact Denis Skelton on 01706 etc.
Visit by Council Portfolio Holder for Vulnerable Adults
Petrus were very pleased to recently meet Cllr. Dale Mulgrew the portfolio holder for Vulnerable Adults, which includes oversight of the Supporting people Programme in Rochdale. Cllr. Mulgrew visited our River Street and Falinge Road services and had an opportunity to meet both staff and service users with whom he had lengthy discussions about life at Petrus.
Day Centre Re-launch
Sally Trench nationally acclaimed author and social campaigner officiated at the day centres' re-launch & celebration event held during February. The event included a presentation of art and poems performed by service users. Over a hundred people attended the event including local councillors and officers representatives from a wide range of local agencies and service user, staff and Trustees from Petrus.
Petrus made a strong bid to the 2009 Spark Challenge, a pot of money established via the government and supported by a number of businesses to fund social enterprises which help reduce homelessness and create employment. Although Petrus were not one of the 15 organisations shortlisted the programme director of Spark has written to Petrus expressing interest in further developing Petrus' plan to set up practical services to help rehouse people and provide training & employment opportunities.