Our Founder, Rev. Dean Aaron Roberts registers the charity with the Charity Commission as The Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry Parish Trust.
Rev. Dean's vision for the charity was to be the social action, outreach, and witness "arm" of the local church. Firmly grounded in Christian principles, the work of the charity was to bring life in all its fullness to as many people as possible.
The Trustees comprise of two members from the historical geographical parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw, and Rudry, as well as Rev. Dean who becomes the Chair of Trustees.
As the global Coronavirus Pandemic started to worry people, the charity started to consider what it was going to do to help people who may be affected. This resulted in the planning of the charity's first project, The CARE Project, and the announcement that it would be available to help people in the community.
On this date, the UK Government announced a national lockdown in response to the global Coronavirus Pandemic.
On the same date, the CARE Project officially began, delivering 7 food parcels on its first day.
We also had to have various equipment installed, including broadband, and food delivered through partnerships with organisations such as FareShare.
Only a few weeks into operation, ITV news pick up on the amazing things being achieved by the charity and interview Rev. Dean, the Chair of Trustees, live from the charity's HQ about the help that is being given to the community.
Peter's Pies commit to donating pastry products to the charity for the CARE Project. They continue to donate weekly.
Barely a month since the launch of the CARE Project, 200 food parcels have been sourced, packed, and delivered by the charity and its army of over 150 volunteers.
The WCVA (Welsh Council for Voluntary Action) awards the charity its first major grant of £43,000 to secure the future of the charity through the pandemic so that it can continue working to help those in need. The volunteers made a video of celebration in what was becoming very challenging times for many as they struggled with the health concerns of COVID, and the isolation, loneliness, and strain that lockdowns and restrictions were putting on daily life.
The charity became members of the WCVA shortly after.
The Charity had grown so much in such a short time that it was necessary to appoint staff.
Siân Connolly and Elisabeth Brierley, two A-Level Students who were helping in a volunteering capacity became the first employees of the charity, Siân managing food procurement, and Elisabeth coordinating the volunteers.
Amanda Mealing, famed for her acting roles on shows such as Holby City, joins the charity as a volunteer, helping with prescription collections.
She goes on to make cotton masks, raising funds for the charity which totalled in excess of £9,000.
The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, visited the charity to encourage the volunteers and to thank the charity for the work it was doing to help those who had been affected in any way by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Building on the success of the appointment of two young people to paid roles, the charity launches an apprenticeship scheme to help people gain skills and qualifications, as well as promoting work in the charitable sector.
Saffron Powell and Aimee Powell become the first apprentices at the charity, doing apprenticeships in Business Administration and Community Development respectively.
In order to keep food supplies up at the Food Hub, CARE Collections are initiated, aimed at getting the general public to collect food from their neighbours and bring it in to keep shelves stocked.
Through the Christmas period, the charity received a grant to light up the HQ, and also bought Christmas gifts for service users as well as doing "Drive By Carols" in the charity's minibus with the BTM Brass Band.
Due to the charity's rapid growth and extended reach to the whole of the CF83 postcode area, and to be completely true to its original vision, The Bedwas, Machen, Michaeslton-y-Fedw and Rudry Parish Trust undergoes a governance overhaul, becoming completely independent as a charity and not affiliated with any particular church and rebrands as "The Parish Trust".
The Parish Trust received the Chair's Award from the Bedwas, Trethomas, and Machen Community Council for its work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and the way it brought communities together through tough times.
A weekly Lunch Club launches to continue to bring people together, and to reduce food waste.
Focussing on community wellbeing, a garden was started at the back of the HQ with the help of Keep Wales Tidy. The Charity then became a litter picking hub for the community.
To further reduce food waste, Bag a Bargain is initiated to offer the general public a mixed bag of fresh and frozen foods for a nominal price.
To give children, young people, and families some fun after 2020, The Parish Trust hosted a family fun day on the week of the school year. Over 200 people attended.
After the success of the family fun day in the summer of 2021, The Parish Trust received feedback that a baby and toddler group was needed in the area. "Tommy's Tots" named after the building that The Parish Trust commandeered in the Pandemic (St. Thomas' Church, Trethomas), is launched, attracting over 40 children on its first session, and gaining over 100 children on its books within the first three months of operation.
A "knit and natter" group, but with a purpose; to provide much needed knitted, sewed, and quilted items for the NHS, and also to provide reasonable clothing for babies and children. The Yarny Army contributed to thousands of knitted items that were used in the local health board in 2022 alone.
As the war broke out in Ukraine, The Parish Trust committed to providing donations to the country, to praying for the nation, and to providing welcome to any Ukrainian refugees who came to the area. The has supported a number of Ukrainians with practical support, and a number of Ukrainians have joined the charity volunteering family since the start of the war.
The Lord Lieutenant of Gwent invited Rev. Dean Aaron Roberts, Founder of The Parish Trust to a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of the Charity's work.
Having had to celebrate Volunteers Week remotely for the first two years of operation, The Parish Trust was delighted be able to offer a whole host of events in recognition of the work of volunteers with the charity during 2022.
The Parish Trust appoints Luke Coleman as The Parish Trust's Wellbeing Coordinator.
The role allowed the charity to provide a suite of wellsbeing courses from bereavement to mental health and support groups.
The Parish Trust attracts over 400 families to participate in free or low cost activities in the summer, working in partnership with Welsh Government and Caerphilly County Borough Council.
Carrie Gealy, the Youth and Children's Engagement Officer launches a Youth Club on the back of the Summer of Fun activities.
The Youth Club is one of the most successful projects under the oversight of the charity.
The Parish Trust Community Choir hosted its first concert, with over 100 people in attendance and many more watching online.
After three years of hard work, The Parish Trust is accredited for being an organisation that prioritises investing in volunteers.
The Parish Trust received multi year funding (the only organisation to do so) during a competitive pitching event, led by Carrie Gealy and a youth volunteer. This was a significant milestone for the charity as it was the first grant to be awarded that was won because of the involvement of young people.
A distinguished presence graced The Parish Trust this week as the High Sheriff of Gwent, Professor Simon J Gibson, paid an illuminating visit to gain firsthand insight into the organisation’s transformative work within the area of Youth Empowerment and Volunteering.
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