Real Change Launches in Rochdale

Local Rochdale charities launch an initiative offering people a different way to give to tackle homelessness.

Real Change Rochdale raises money for practical items which help people who are homeless: things like a deposit for a home, enrolment on a training course or buying new clothes for a job interview. Donations go directly to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless via local charities and voluntary groups such as Petrus, Sanctuary Trust, Stepping Stone and Angie’s Angels.

The initiative is led by Sanctuary Trust’s Pass It On scheme, which provides training and development opportunities for people with experience of homelessness. John Wigley, Pass It On Manager, said “We know that people in Rochdale are worried about rising homelessness and want to help, and through living it know how real change happens when you are homeless. We’re launching this scheme so that the money people give can have the biggest impact possible, for hidden homeless people as well as people sleeping rough, and make a long term difference in their community”

Over £1000 has already been raised to kick-start the scheme, with Rochdale College Sixth Form winning the ‘Real Change Challenge’ competition set for supporters and partners. The campaign is now looking for more people, workplaces and community groups to fundraise on behalf of Real Change and help tackle homelessness in their community – with more information about how on their website at

Cllr Linda Robinson, Chair of Rochdale Homeless Forum, said ‘It’s natural to want to give money to people on the streets, but by giving to a fund like Real Change you can be sure you will make things better for people who are homeless. I’m really pleased to see this new scheme get under way as it means, for the first time, people in our borough who want to help make a positive change can donate cash which will fund really useful, practical things, like a deposit for a flat or furniture, to help that person build a life away from the streets permanently and end the cycle of homelessness’

Real Change Rochdale is the second Real Change campaign to launch in Greater Manchester, after Wigan & Leigh kicked off in October 2018. The campaign there has been able to help end or prevent homelessness for 40 people in that time, distributing nearly £9000 worth of grants via 12 local partners. Supported by GMCA and housing association Riverside, the aim is to set up local campaigns in each borough of Greater Manchester. John’s key message at the launch is the same one they want to share with everyone:

“Individually, each of us can do something, but together we can make a Real Change to homelessness in our area”.

If you’d like to support the campaign and help tackle homelessness in Rochdale, you can:

  • Find out more about Real Change Rochdale and how you can help
  • Share the Campaign on your social media pages
  • Invite Real Change to talk to you about homelessness in your workplace, event or community group

Real Change is based on the Big Change initiative in Manchester, which has raised over £250k to help end homelessness since it started in 2015. Real Change Rochdale builds on the experience of the Big Change Rochdale campaign which ran in 2017.
Follow the campaign on Twitter by searching #RealChangeRochdale or following @RealChangeGM

To find out more about Real Change Rochdale, or the Real Change programme in Greater Manchester, please contact:
Robbie Cowbury
Campaigns Manager for Real Change
07976 924 793

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