Over the last week, a new audio and visual system has been installed at The Parish Trust HQ. This is part of an overall project to purchase and renovate the St. Thomas building from the Church in Wales in order to provide a versatile and robust space which furthers the charity’s objectives to its service area of over 50,000 people, and to safeguard and future proof the building as a community asset.

The new system will enable the building to be used to host meetings, events, and training and will have the capacity to livestream so that a bigger online audience can be reached.

The installation of this AV System has been made possible by grant funders who were providing specific funding for such equipment to be utilised in charitable organisations. Grant funders hoped that by using modern technology, more people could be reached with charitable services and that communities would be strengthened after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Parish Trust has already planned a number of new services which will utilise the new technology, such as a course for the bereaved, and a money management course. There are further plans to use the equipment as part of The Parish Trust’s vision to invest in children and young people.

Rev. Dean Aaron Roberts, the Chair of Trustees, commented,

The installation of our new AV system has actually been a landmark moment in the life of The Parish Trust after over two years of planning and fundraising. Many people have a misconception about The Parish Trust as simply being a food bank. Whilst it is true that The Parish Trust operates one of the largest food banks in Caerphilly County Borough, the CARE Project, we offer so much more than food parcels.

It is our clear conviction that food parcels help people whilst they’re in some kind of crisis or poverty on a short term basis, but it does not help people out of crisis or poverty for the long term. For that to take place, a number of other services and provisions need to be put in place to help people achieve a better standard of living. This could mean putting on a course on how to handle and manage money, especially on an increasingly tight budget with the Cost of Living Crisis looming over us all. It could mean helping someone to process their grief, and giving them safe space to interact and socialise with others. It could mean giving them purpose in life by giving them opportunities to volunteer or to work in our community garden.

The Parish Trust provides a number of services to people, and this AV system will help us to train and coach people to a high standard, and to deliver services to even more people through the live-streaming element of the system. This is just a start of the new suite of provision we are offering. There will be plenty more services on offer as we start to explore the new system. We’re really excited about it, and we’re looking forward to seeing how it can be utilised to its full potential in the coming months.

Whilst the new AV system is great news for the charity, it still needs support from the General Public to continue its charitable provision to the community. In most cases, grant funders provide “Capital Funding” which is one-off funding for starting new projects and purchasing equipment. However, in an increasingly competitive arena and impacted by rising costs, grant funders are limiting or even ceasing to provide “Revenue Funding” which is ongoing funding for running costs (such as money to pay fuel bills, electricity, and the purchase of food, insurance etc). This is why charities like The Parish Trust find it much easier to secure funding for new equipment, but find it much more difficult to secure funding for its day-to-day costs.

Perhaps you could help The Parish Trust by pledging £5 a month to support our ongoing work?


Notes to Readers: The Parish Trust is very transparent about its accounts and spending. Detailed reports are published each year on the Charity Commission’s Website. The Parish Trust’s reports can be found here. However, any further questions about the charity and how finances are used can be directed in writing via our contact page.

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