Still here to help

Cardiff Council is reminding residents that services to help and support households who need it are still in place in the city.


The Council is encouraging anyone who needs help with accessing food, collecting prescriptions, money advice, into work help and more, to get in touch with the Adviceline on 029 2087 1071 to discuss what support is available.


Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the Council provided a range of assistance to residents who were shielding, self-isolating or struggling to buy essentials because of the impact of the pandemic. The Council has helped co-ordinate the Welsh Government food parcel scheme and has directly provided  around 6,000 food parcels in total to those in need.


Following the pausing of shielding arrangements on August 16, the Welsh Government food parcel scheme has ceased, however the Council understands that many people may require ongoing support despite the easing of measures.


The authority has written to around 12,500 people in the city to advise of available support and is also making calls to the 1,400 shielding households who previously received food parcels.


Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: "I'm very proud of the Council's response to helping people in need during the health emergency. Our food service, with the amazing support of our Together for Cardiff volunteers, was a real lifeline for thousands of people.


"Demand for that service has decreased recently as restrictions have lifted and it's been easier for people to access provisions themselves. However, we know that many people, particularly perhaps those who were shielding, may still be worried about the risk of coronavirus while others may still need to self-isolate. It's important that residents know that support is still available.


"By getting in touch with our Adviceline, we can signpost anyone who needs help to services or organisations that can provide support. Community groups and volunteers will continue to play a key role in this work."


More than a thousand volunteers came forward at the start of the pandemic to register with the council's volunteering brokering scheme, Together for Cardiff, to support people in need across the city. Volunteers worked on a local basis assisting people within their own communities, as well as alongside Council services, delivering food and essentials.


While many volunteers are now no longer available, the Council is still keen to hear from anyone who feels they can help people in the city  with ongoing support such as shopping errands, collecting medicines or befriending. Volunteers can register call the Adviceline on 029 2087 1071. Residents looking for support can also find information about local groups that can help.


Cllr Thorne added: "We know that people's needs may have changed since the peak of the emergency. Our Into Work and Money Advice teams have seen an increase in demand for their services as the impact of the pandemic is felt on people's employment and financial situations. We're still here to help and are encouraging anyone experiencing difficulties to get in touch as soon as possible - don't leave it too late."


The Adviceline continues to be open six days a week and many queries can be dealt with over the phone without the need to visit a hub. For queries that need face to face support, fifteen of the city's hubs and libraries are now open on an appointment-only basis to support residents with a range of matters such as into work help, support with benefits, housing enquiries, money and debt advice and more.


The new money advice website also has lots of useful information on money management, budgeting, debt advice and more.