Dear valued supporters and friends of The Parish Trust,
As we continue our mission to make a positive impact on the lives of those in need, I wanted to take a moment to address an important matter that has come to our attention.
First and foremost, I want to express our heartfelt gratitude for your ongoing support and generosity. Your contributions play an indispensable role in helping us achieve our charitable objectives and provide vital assistance to those facing hardships in our communities alongside our other services.
However, in recent times, we have become increasingly aware of the prevalence of scams and fraudulent activities that attempt to deceive individuals who wish to donate to charities, especially ones such as The Parish Trust. It is disheartening to see that some unscrupulous individuals are misusing the trust and goodwill of our supporters by posing as intermediaries or claiming to represent charities like The Parish Trust.
Whilst there hasn’t been a specific case of someone claiming to be a representative of the charity that we know of, this activity is on the rise across the country. Therefore, I want to emphasise the critical importance of donating directly to our organisation, rather than through individuals, unless they have a formal agreement with us. We encourage people to donate directly to us online, via social media such as Facebook Donations, Crowdfunding, or Justgiving (or similar), or in person at our HQ or events. By doing so, you ensure that your contributions reach us directly, enabling us to allocate funds where they are needed most efficiently. We maintain stringent financial controls and transparency to ensure that every pound you donate is used responsibly and for the benefit of those we serve.
Furthermore, I’d like to shed light on another aspect of our work that requires careful consideration: supporting food banks with a referral system in place. While we appreciate the efforts of all organisations working to alleviate hunger, we believe it is preferable to support food banks that have a referral system in place. Here’s why:
- Targeted Assistance: Food banks with a referral system can identify and prioritise individuals and families who are in dire need of food assistance. This targeted approach ensures that those who are most vulnerable receive the support they require.
- Preventing Waste: A referral system helps prevent food waste by ensuring that donations are distributed efficiently. This means that perishable items are less likely to go to waste, and food banks can better manage their resources.
- Accountability: Food banks with referral systems often have established relationships with social service agencies, which helps maintain a level of accountability in the distribution process. This accountability is crucial in ensuring that resources are utilised effectively.
- Less risk of “playing the system”: It is a sad reality that a minority of individuals will seek food from multiple food banks, and there have been cases whereby those who do not need to use food banks have gone to places where they have a “no questions asked” policy. Whilst this open policy is commendable, it carries with it a risk that others in genuine need will go without food because of this abuse.
In summary, I offer my advice to those wishing to donate to charity, and how they can ensure their donation ends up in trustworthy hands:
- Do not give monetary donations to people claiming to belong to an organisation without any proof such as an ID badge, a certificate of instruction or something similar. If in doubt, contact the charity concerned directly.
- Support food banks that belong to Trussell Trust or IFAN (such as us) – these are food bank networks that ensure a referral system is in place to ensure accountability and protect against those who would wish to take advantage and “play the system”
- Check that any charity claiming to be a charity is registered, and that they have proper accounting procedures in place. This can all be done on the Charity Commission Website.
- Don’t just donate to a charity – get involved! Whether that’s by signing up to newsletters, checking regularly on their social media pages/website, or volunteering.
Your support is invaluable to us, and we remain committed to upholding the trust you place in The Parish Trust. Please remember to donate directly to our organisation and consider supporting food banks with referral systems in place to maximise the impact of your generosity.
Thank you for your unwavering support, and together, we can continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve.
With gratitude and blessings,
Rev. Dean Aaron Roberts
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Rev. Dean Aaron Roberts
Rev. Dean Aaron Roberts (BA, MA, Cert.RSCM) is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Parish Trust. Prior to his current role, Dean was the Chair of Trustees for the charity. Dean has worked in a ministerial role as an ordained minister. He also holds a position at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board as a Chaplain. He is the Vice Chair of Governors of a primary school, and has served on various Boards and Committees throughout his career. Dean is a member of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO)