A debt centre based in a Bargoed church hall has been given a boost by over £200,000 of lottery funding.
St Gwladys’ Church Hall was awarded £227,000 from the Big Lottery Fund to help build existing and new community schemes.
The cash boost comes will help maintain a debt centre opened after the congregation joined forces with debt counselling charity Christians Against Poverty.
Three staff will be funded for three years thanks to the cash and existing facilities will be upgraded.
Revd Jonathan Widdess, priest-in-charge of the Parish of Bargoed and Deri with Brithdir, said: “We are delighted to have won the support of the Big Lottery Fund which means we can now move forward and build on our existing work.
“We have a clear vision here of fighting poverty – material poverty, spiritual poverty, relationship poverty and poverty of opportunity.
“The debt centre work enables us to fight material poverty and the various community projects that we run are aimed at combating relationship poverty and poverty of opportunity.
“Someone might not be able to get a job without experience but if they do voluntary work with one of our projects then they can get that vital experience.”
Hywel Thomas from the Big Lottery Fund said: “Church halls have long been the backbone of community life, serving as meeting places, theatres for budding thespians, fundraising venues and relief shelters in times of emergency.
“Funding will help St Gwladys Church Hall continue this tradition, not only as focal point for the Bargoed community, but also in its work to help people who are struggling with debt or feel isolated.
“The Parochial Church Council should be commended for reaching out in this way and for providing tangible support for those in need.”
A holiday club is also run in the hall, having previously secured £8,500 from Children in Need, offering children entertainment and learning two days a week during school holidays.