Older people’s charity, Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale, continues its long-standing commitment to supporting vulnerable and isolated older people living in our local communities amidst the Coronavirus outbreak. As the crisis continues to hit, the number of people requiring its support has risen immensely and additional requests for assistance continue to be received daily.
Jeff Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer explains: ‘As a small, local charity with limited funds, our resources are under huge strain and our infrastructure at risk. Throughout this crisis, when there has been fierce competition for limited funds, Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale has consistently applied for grants from all relevant bodies as well as urging individuals and businesses to donate or fundraise to help us continue our vital work.
‘We have been very fortunate to obtain funding from the Wales Council for Voluntary Action through its Emergency Services Fund. The fund has been created to enable organisations providing vital support during the Coronavirus crisis to continue and to expand their work. WCVA recognises that funding needs to reach those working directly with communities quickly to help meet a huge increase in need. It seeks to help fund those providing vital support to groups such as older people, those in isolation or those struggling to access food etc. We are very grateful to WCVA for granting us funding to continue to deliver our much-needed services’.
Since the start of the Coronavirus lockdown, Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale has taken over 3,600 calls for information, advice and reassurance and many clients are called weekly to maintain social contact. The charity has also responded to the shopping and prescription delivery needs of 300 new clients.
The charity’s services have had a great impact on client and volunteer alike. Eighty-year-old Trevor and his wife Ann have been supported by Amanda, one of Age Connects’ newest volunteers.
Trevor explains: ‘We feel unbelievably lucky to have met Amanda and to have her support, and that of Age Connects, even though it has been under the most difficult circumstances. Totally reliable, Amanda is always so cheerful and full of beans. She always shows real concern for our welfare, not just helping us with our shopping, but ringing us up during the week just to say hello and to check how we are doing’.
Volunteer Amanda shares: ‘As the UK went into lockdown and I was placed on furlough, volunteering seemed like the right thing to do with my spare time. I could see vulnerable and older people were crying out for help whilst they were self-isolating or shielding and that’s when I made contact with Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale. Volunteering with the charity has given me the opportunity to make a real difference and the satisfaction I get from the role has been very rewarding. I feel like I’ve found friends that I will stay in touch with long after lockdown’.
The charity’s Chief Executive Officer continues: ‘We fully recognise that it isn’t possible to support the older, isolated and most vulnerable members of our local communities at this time without our dedicated staff and volunteers, as well as access to funding such as that through WCVA and other organisations.
‘As we strive to maintain this support we still need help to keep our clients safe, well and reassured that there is help at hand. Can you help us help?’ To show your support or make a donation visit ageconnectscardiff.org.uk
or follow the link: https://justgiving.com/campaign/helpushelp