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Providing Support To Our Residents

Written by on 16th June 2020

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s seven Community Resilience Centres, established in the wake of the COVID-19 Coronavirus national emergency, provide vital support and assistance to thousands of vulnerable and elderly residents across the County Borough.

Around 550 local residents in the upper Cynon Valley regularly rely on the support provided by the Aberdare Community Resilience Centre, which operates out of Aberdare Library with its co-ordinator Ceri-Ann Sheen.

Having been redeployed from the Council’s Employment Routes department, Ceri-Ann works with 22 other members of Council staff, as well as staff from other local organisations and the third sector.

Ceri-Ann said: “I am doing a totally different job to what I am normally used to. It can be very challenging at times but is so rewarding. I am proud to be playing a small part as the whole country adapts to a new way of life.

Since I took up my temporary post as a Community Resilience Centre co-ordinator, I have got to know so many people who are all working effectively together to be there for our most vulnerable and elderly residents in their time of need.

Ceri-Ann, of Aberdare, has worked for Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council for 15 years. Based at Ty Elai, she is the Council’s Employment Routes senior officer, providing opportunities for unemployed residents to get back into work.

“This current situation has affected us and we are all dealing with it in our own way, but one thing that we all need right now are simple acts of kindness,” added Ceri-Ann.

“We are getting so many lovely comments back from our residents, who are so grateful that the Council is there for them, providing reassurance and support to so many.

“We have some staff working for us who self-isolating themselves, but they are making friendly calls to residents to ensure they are safe and well. We also have others who are picking up shopping, collecting prescriptions and offering to walk pet dogs – things that many of us take for granted.”

Ceri-Ann says the Council’s Community Resilience Centres work closely with other agencies such as the Department of Work and Pensions, Citizens Advice RCT, Interlink, Age Connects, registered social landlords and others in order to provide a support service.

Councillor Rhys Lewis, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Wellbeing and Cultural Services, said: “During these unprecedented times, the Council continues to provide vital support and care to its residents, especially the elderly and vulnerable, who are the ones who need our help the most.

Across its seven Community Resilience Centres, the Council is helping thousands of residents on a daily basis. We are also exceptionally grateful for the support from the hundreds of volunteers who responded to a public campaign in March and are now working alongside our Council frontline staff, third sector organisations and community groups to help those in our communities who need support and assistance. Each and every individual involved really is a Neighbourhood Hero.”

In addition, thousands of Council staff are continuing to provide a vital frontline service to residents, along with further support where necessary. Many Council workers, such as Ceri-Ann Sheen, have been redeployed from their usual service areas to assist where possible to ensure that the Council maintain the running of its essential services.