Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale has always supported older people in need and as the Coronavirus continues to hit hard, the charity strives to meet greatly increased demand while facing a loss of vital revenue and a daily strain on resources.
Jeff Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer of the charity explains: ‘The loss of income anticipated through the cancellation of previously successful fundraising events and activities will be thousands of pounds. It is vital therefore for Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale to apply for available grants and funding, run fundraising campaigns as well as appeal for donations in kind, of time or talent, for us to keep supporting older, vulnerable people in our communities’.
He added: ‘It is truly remarkable what can be achieved when people and funders come together. Funders such as Western Power who have supported the charity through its “In This Together: Community Matters” programme. This has been vital in helping to increase our capacity to answer 3,600 calls for advice, support and reassurance as well as responding to the shopping needs of 300 new clients. We are very grateful’.
Western Power stated: ‘We’re proud to be supporting the amazing work done by Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale to help communities in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan cope with the effects of the pandemic’.
Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale have also received a grant from Bacta, the trade association for the gaming machine industry in the UK as well as a donation from RWE Generation UK as part of its commitment to support local charities. RWE stated: ‘Our Charities Committee were very impressed with all the work you do and for the benefit the charity brings to others and in particular within the current difficult environment’.
Smaller grants and financial support have also been very gratefully received from Admiral, Caldicot School and Waitrose in Cowbridge.
The charity recognises that support in kind is equally as important as financial support. Support such as that made by S&G/HVAC Mechanical Specialists who, in conjunction with Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale, have been out and about delivering hampers to older, isolated people in the local community and bringing a smile to many faces.
Jeff Hawkins, CEO continues: ‘We should also remember that underpinning all of this is the constant and unstinting support of our volunteers without whom we would not be able to help so many people over Coronavirus crisis. Our 300 existing and 200 new volunteers, who joined specifically to help during this time, are continuing to make weekly telephone calls to our clients to provide reassurance and social contact and to make shopping and prescription deliveries’.
Volunteers such as Andrea whose client says of her: ‘Although the shopping is important, Andrea is so much more than just a shopper. She is a link for us to the outside world. She is always happy and positive and shows a genuine concern for our welfare. She has really made the whole “lockdown” experience so much more bearable for my father and me’.
While Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale sincerely thanks funders, businesses and individuals who provide support, the charity still needs help to keep its clients safe, well and reassured that help is at hand.
To show your support or make a donation visit ageconnectscardiff.org.uk
or follow the link: https://justgiving.com/campaign/helpushelp
Nathan is the Operations Director at Bro Radio. You can hear him on air on Vale Breakfast weekday mornings from 7am or reading local news bulletins throughout the week.