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Volunteers making a difference in Rhondda Cynon Taf

Written by on 8th June 2020

Volunteers across Rhondda Cynon Taf have been providing vital help to people within their communities throughout the Coronavirus emergency.

From assisting with shopping for those who are shielding or picking up a prescription for someone who is self-isolating, volunteers have been at the heart of their communities during these times.

One such community volunteer group is Rhydyfelin/Treforest Covid Group, who have been helping people of all ages in their local community.  The Group is a partnership between a number of local organisations including Rhydyfelin Community Group, Valleys Kids, Hope Church, local Elected Members and the DBS-checked volunteers.

The Group have created activity packs for both young people and the elderly, with a range of puzzles and treats; and also delivering essential supplies and helping to combat loneliness.

They have also been collecting donations in their community to help support Pontypridd Foodbank, which has seen a 300% rise in demand for its services.

With the generous support of the local community, Rhydyfelin/Treforest Covid Group have collected over 1 tonne of donations for Pontypridd Foodbank, which not only includes essential food supplies, but also toiletries for families and individuals who have struggled with a loss of income since the coronavirus emergency reached out communities.

Rhydyfelin/Treforest Covid Group have also received significant support from local supermarkets and shops, with the businesses and shoppers themselves donating essential items which have been sorted by the volunteers, who are ready to support people who require assistance from Pontypridd Foodbank.

Councillor Maureen Webber, Deputy Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Elected Member for Rhydyfelin Central/Ilan,said: “The Rhydyfelin/Treforest Covid Group have been working incredibly hard over the course of the Coronavirus emergency to support people within our community.

“The Rhydyfelin/Treforest Covid Group have been a lifeline for many people, whether they be Shielding or self-isolating, by collecting essential medicines, food shopping or posting mail. They have also been keeping people’s spirits up by providing activity packs to young people and the elderly, to keep them entertained during these troubling times.

“Volunteers across Rhondda Cynon Taf have been doing fantastic work throughout the Coronavirus emergency to help support those in need, and I want to thank each and every single volunteer and community group for how they have worked to support some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.”

Throughout the Coronavirus emergency, RCT Council has been working with partners in Interlink and other community groups and partner organisations to process over 1,100 volunteer requests, undertaking DBS checks to make sure volunteers meet a standard expected by residents, and ensure vulnerable people are kept safe. 

To further support volunteers and local organisations, RCT Council has refocused the existing Community Activity Fund, to provide financial support for local organisations and individuals doing invaluable work to help others at this time.  Further information on that scheme can be found here.

Mandy from Pontypridd Foodbank,said: “The support that we have received from Rhydyfelin/Treforest Covid Group and the local community has been incredible. We are extremely thankful to the community and businesses for their generous donations, which will go directly to those that need them the most.

“We have seen a 300% increase in demand for Pontypridd Foodbank since the start of the Coronavirus national emergency, which, coupled with difficulty accessing store cupboard staples at the start and a reduction in donations due to social distancing, meant our supplies were under strain.

“A huge thank you must go to the local community and Rhydyfelin/Treforest Covid Group for their donations, which will help some of the people most in need during this time.”

If you are interested in finding out about volunteering in Rhondda Cynon Taf, or how you can help in your local community, visit: www.interlinkrct.org.uk

For more information on the support offered by Pontypridd Foodbank, or how to donate, please visit: www.pontypridd.foodbank.org.uk