Main Contact: Karen Fletcher – Marketing and Partnerships Manager
Tel: 02920 683 604 / 07584 346 015
Release: Monday 1st November 2021
“To know that there is someone I can trust and can rely on each week is an enormous relief. It’s like having a life jacket, providing support and keeping us afloat at such a worrying time.”
This is what daughter Lesley, who lives in Northern England, said about the support her father Michael, who lives in Barry, is receiving from Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale.
Community-based services such as shopping, transport, befriending and simple practical help are a lifeline to those needing extra assistance to remain independent in their own home. Now and throughout the pandemic Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale provided these services to people like Michael through the tremendous support of its staff and volunteers. However, without essential backing, the charity states it is at risk of not being able to fulfil expected demand this Winter. The local community-based Charity is appealing for people to come forward to lend a little bit of help as and when they can.
Winter has always been a challenging time for vulnerable older people and for the NHS. Government updates have stated that this Winter could be particularly difficult due to the impacts of COVID-19 on top of the usual increase in emergency demand and seasonal respiratory diseases such as flu. The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales stated in a recent report* that “older people have felt the impact of isolation and of staying indoors, experiencing a loss of confidence and being fearful about going back out again”. It goes on to say that 11% of older people in Wales – an estimated 91,000 people – feel “consistently lonely. Without the correct support this will inevitably have consequences for their ability to live independently and for their future health and well-being”.
With these stark facts in mind, Jeff Hawkins, CEO for Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale explains: “As lockdown hit back in 2020, we adapted our services to offer safe volunteer-led support to local older people. Predominately, for those without friends or family nearby and who were shielding, who had nowhere else to turn. The influx of new volunteers we recruited, plus our existing volunteer base ensured we were able to reach out to those in need. Many of our volunteers have now returned to work following furlough while our fundraising activities have continued to be adversely affected by the effects of the pandemic. However, we are still anticipating a sharp rise in demand this Winter but with less resources to ensure each and every older person who needs our support can access it.
Our charity has always been committed to tackling loneliness, isolation and poverty amongst older people and we strive to create a society where older people are respected, valued and heard. We are pleading for vital voluntary and monetary support from members of the public and local businesses to ensure not one older person living in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan is overlooked this Winter”.
If you can play your part in giving back to our local older community this Winter, Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale would love to hear from you. Whether you can donate your time or your money – please get in touch!
To make a donation: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/showsupportthiswinter
----------------------------------------- End ------------------------------------------------
Notes to the Editor:
* Older People’s Commissioner for Wales ‘State of the Nation 2021’ Report and Welsh Government (2021) National Survey for Wales (quarterly survey): January to March 2021.
Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale is the operating title of Age Concern Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale is an independent local and independently-run charity that has been providing services for older people since 1974, reaching out to older people in the region, many of whom live alone, are physically frail and live below the poverty line.