What We Do
Our mission statement:
Although The PFC Trust was founded by Patrick and Frances Connolly to support and enrich the lives of all sections of the community where they lived for 25 years, the Trust is actually the work of a group of likeminded and dedicated people whose purpose is to help community groups achieve their goals, fulfil their ambitions and reach their potential. The aim of the Trust is to support, and help become sustainable, projects within the community which are already delivering services which enhance the life experiences of their service users. The intent is to invest in those projects which need a boost to reach a wider audience within the community and make their work a little easier with cash injections where appropriate. What differentiates this charity is our engagement with the projects we help. We are genuinely interested in their long term futures. We are committed to building connections with and between the groups for mutual support.
Who we've helped... so far
Our first ever project...
Following the establishment of The PFC Trust, the first Hartlepool organisation to benefit was Hartlepool College of Further Education.
Further details about this historic project will be available here shortly...
The Poolie Time Exchange
One of the first organisations supported by the Trust was The Poolie Time Exchange,
which connects people with skills (‘Achievers’) to others who could benefit from them.
Achievers earn "Poolie Pounds" which they can then 'spend' on ‘resources’ such as trial
job interviews, obtaining on-the-job experience, energy advice, and CVs and training courses.
Achievers may also get references from the people they have provided support to.
For the PFC Trust it was an easy grant to make – individuals who need help with things like decorating or gardening get it for free whilst those who provide the help get access to resources and assistance aimed at helping them out of poverty – all without a penny changing hands.
By supporting them we have helped to fund:
• Free skills training
• Help with financial planning and money management
• Mindfulness workshops
• Help to find work
• CV development
• Career development
• Fire safety advice
• Access to gym facilities
• And many other opportunities
When Covid-19 hit, it hit many people financially. The Poolie Time Exchange was one of the organisations that swung into action by organising and delivering food parcels, including actually making food to deliver. As their premises were limited in size the Trust organised for the local Further Education College to give free use of both their kitchens and their minibuses in order for the time exchange volunteers to prepare, cook and deliver the meals throughout the town. The PFC Trust also paid for the fuel for all deliveries, as well as providing additional fridges and PPE.
St Aidan's Kitchen
The Trust provided a grant to the soup kitchen at St Aidan's Church as they were running very low on supplies. The amazing work carried out here by Mother Gemma and the dedicated volunteers was humbling to see and the Trust was proud to be part of it. And we stayed in touch. We provided another grant to fund their fantastic Christmas Day, where all of their guests got a hot meal as well as Christmas treats and festive spirit. We then looked at how they could obtain regular donations of food through existing charities and organisations and they have gone from strength to strength.
Their soup kitchen was shut down during Covid-19 but that didn’t stop them. The Poolie Time Exchange arrived in St Aidens car park with food and supplies and, along with the soup kitchen volunteers, provided food for everyone who came.
The PFC Trust helped isolated local residents by providing 4G internet dongles, so people could keep in touch with isolated relatives during lockdown.
Pictured (right) is Amy Wynne from Hospital@Home with some of the boxed dongles.
A 3-month financial assistance package from The PFC Trust to Advice@Hart enabled them to to continue to deliver their services remotely to the most vulnerable people in and around Hartlepool. Without the PFC Trust's assistance throughout that period, Advice@Hart's services would have been placed on hold during the peak of the COViD pandemic, and the most vulnerable who relied on their support would not have had access to this much needed service.
In addition to a Covid-19 financial grant, the support provided by the Trust during National Carers Week meant that Hartlepool Carers were able to celebrate their fantastic carers, and offer them some special rewards for their non-stop commitment and dedication to their roles.
North East Refugees and
Asylum Seekers Group
The PFC Trust was able to supply much-needed food vouchers to the North East Refugees and Asylum Seekers Group at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, enabling this Group's vital work in supporting many families to continue.
Hartlepower is a charity setup to provide a Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) service to groups, social enterprises, charities and Hartlepool businesses.
"It has been refreshing to work with The PFC Trust since they established, a very progressive and dynamic organisation who are truly inspirational in terms of their support to sustainable locally routed projects. The PFC Trust are really big on networking and partnerships, linking ideas with doers and projects with groups, some of the collaborative working they have already undertaken has been unheard of, in particular the capacity and professional support they have provided to groups and individuals to get projects off the ground. We can’t wait to see how the trust develops, if the first year is anything to go by the sector in Hartlepool will certainly be an even better and brighter place".
The Energy Hub was a project to create an enterprise hub for social enterprises, charities, sole traders and community groups. In 2018 renovations began of the former Cameron’s Brewery offices known as “Dimensional House”, a building with character and what many would describe as homely! The building has been transformed, mainly by volunteers into a 22 room Enterprise Centre with a café. The building, however, was not the most user-friendly in the world, the biggest issue being the stairs – several flights of them – making access hard if not impossible for anyone with a mobility problem. Not any more, thanks to the kindness of the PFC Trust, which funded not one but two stairlifts, opening up the first floor of the hub to everyone and completing the Energy Hub project for Hartlepool groups and visitors to the Hub.
"Thank you again, PFC, for your wonderful generosity".
Harbour Support Services
In April 2020 the Trust donated 6 Samsung Tablet computers for use by families within refuges. These enabled children to complete homeschooling, homework and play age-appropriate online games, as well as engaging with meetings, and maintaining contact with their families whilst they were isolated in lockdown.
Click on the butterfly image to find out more...
Would you like to know more?
Simply click on the image of the cover (left) to download a PDF copy of The PFC Trust's brochure, and find out about how YOU can become involved with us, and help to make a difference to the lives and life chances of the people of Hartlepool.
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