We make our heritage assets work for communities today by using them to inspire and encourage learning and development.

Pioneer Places Youth Project

In 2019 we are working with the National Lottery Heritage Fund to support young people in Rochdale and engage them with the unique heritage of their town. We are doing this in partnership with youth organisations in Rochdale Borough as well as the Heritage Action Zone scheme for regeneration. 

As part of the project, young people have access to special materials and collections as well as mentors with expert knowledge. They will physically explore, map and interpret the landscape, buildings and physical features of Co-operative Rochdale to help others understand how and why it became the 'birthplace' of the movement.

We will be posting more about this project and its outcomes in the Winter of 2019.

Pioneer Pantry

The Pioneer Pantry is a member owned shop open to Rochdale residents facing financial hardship.  It stocks fresh and non-perishable food, toiletries and free sanitary packs provided by The Crimson Wave Charity. The pantry is open once a week on the museum site, on Friday afternoons from 12:00 to 15:00.

Members pay a one off fee of £1 to join then £2.50 each time they visit.  Members can choose up to 10 colour coded items each time they visit; enough to see a family of four through the weekend.

The original Pioneers shop opened its doors to sell good food at affordable prices to its members. Today the building is once again being used by local people in the same way, working with partners and a core of volunteers to create a sustainable model for local people to access store cupboard essentials at an affordable rate. 

Pioneer Pantry Member:

"I know what it’s like to hit rock bottom, I’m not here to judge, I’m here to give back.  We all have those weeks when money is tight, now we’ve got the Pantry to help when it’s tough like that".

This quote exemplifies the unique Rochdalian co-operative culture which supported a movement based on fairness and self responsibility. The Pantry is not charity; members take responsibility, choosing and buying items for themselves.  As another member said

"This is much more than a shop, there’s something about this place, it’s somewhere to belong".

Profits keep the shelves stocked, but we also rely on generous donations of fresh food from the Co-op Foodshare and Neighbourly food waste schemes and gratefully accept donations from members of the public. 

To sponsor a bag of shopping, click to donate.

Just £10 a month can feed a member each time they visit.

To get involved directly with this work, contact us through our volunteering page

Follow the Crimson Wave on Twitter @CrimsonWaveOrg