Macarthy funding builds stronger communities

Macarthy funding builds stronger communities

When times are hard, it can be difficult to raise a smile. Harder still to be positive about your future or make good decisions about what to do next.

Jade’s huge smile greets people at The Salvation Army’s Porirua office, and before they say a word, she can read the distress on their faces.

“Some people come in and they are quite emotional or angry or agitated. We try to get them into feeling like this is safe place, that you’re going to be ok here, and that we are going to help you in whatever way we can.”

Some communities face many long-term and ongoing pressures, but the economic difficulties of recent years have also taken a toll across a wider range of communities.

That’s where charitable trusts can provide valuable assistance. The Thomas George Macarthy Trust, established from the estate of a successful Wellington businessman, has an enduring relationship with The Salvation Army.


Over the last 25 years, the Salvation Army has received $3.1 million from the TG Macarthy Trust, says Major Pam Waugh, who heads its Social Services team.

“This is really important in helping us continue our work. It helps us tick over our services, and fills funding gaps, and allows us to start new projects. We’re always really grateful. It sounds like a lot of money, and it is a lot of money. But when you break it down and see what we’ve achieved, we’ve helped around 3000 families. We’ve achieved a huge amount.”

In recent years, The Salvation Army has noticed a huge increase in community demand for its welfare services.


Major Waugh says people typically have an immediate need they’re seeking help for - usually a lack of food, clothing or household goods - but there’s always a more serious, underlying issue to deal with as well.

That’s when a range of other services are put in place, such as budgeting advice, life skills and parenting programmes, addiction treatment, emergency accommodation, employment training, or counselling.

Once families are linked to other services, they are often amazed at what they can achieve.

“We get really excited when we see families making real changes and being able to manage with their circumstances.”

“It’s about community. It’s about the community taking care of the community".


The Thomas George Macarthy Trust commemorates its centennial year in 2012. Almost $60 million has been distributed to thousands of community organisations, including Age Concern Wellington, across the lower North Island.

Public Trust is responsible for administering the Thomas George Macarthy Trust through an approach that ensures that the Trust is safeguarded and grown to benefit past, current and future generations of the community.