Leanne Looks to Resurrect Community Volunteer Network to Help Vulnerable People

Written by on 7th January 2021

The Member of the Senedd for the Rhondda has appealed to the community once again to help ensure neighbours do not suffer without help during the latest coronavirus lockdown.

Leanne Wood MS is looking to resurrect the volunteer network she started in March of last year when the first lockdown was implemented. In the months that followed, nearly six hundred people in the Rhondda signed up to help others who are shielding or self-isolating to get their essential supplies such as food and medication.

In a post on Facebook, Leanne said the volunteer help was vital during the lockdowns of 2020 and showed that community spirit remains strong in the Rhondda.

She said: “During the first lockdown, I and our team of Plaid Cymru RCT Councillors – Cynghorwyr RCT Plaid Cymru set up and coordinated a network of community volunteers covering the whole of the Rhondda.

“The idea was to have a volunteer in every street, keeping an eye out out for vulnerable neighbours and offering to help with shopping and collecting prescriptions or just to keep in touch with those who were shielding or isolating because of Covid.

“Nearly six hundred people signed up to be a community volunteer back in March and April.

“We now have a Facebook group for each of the Rhondda’s fifteen communities eg Treherbert, Gelli & Ystrad, Cwm Clydach etc.

“Many people’s circumstances have changed since the first lockdown, but I and our councillors are concerned that many people may be struggling even more this time than they were during the first lockdown.

“More people will be isolating now after being told to by track and trace. Support that was available for the shielded group previously is no longer in place.

“This means that it is up to our communities to respond yet again.”

As well as asking people to become a community volunteer by signing up on her website (https://www.leannerhondda.wales/covid19_rhondda_volunteer), Leanne asked volunteers to write a note to people in their street to let them know they are available to help, set up a Facebook group for the street where people can request help and volunteer with Leanne’s food network.

Leanne added: “I am incredibly grateful to everyone who works to improve our communities here in the Rhondda. The work people have carried out to help support others throughout the course of 2020 has been genuinely inspiring.

“Seeing so many people wanting to help others and be there for those who need support through difficult times has been wonderful – and I know I am only seeing a small fraction of all these acts of kindness and compassion. It has shown the collective strength we have and gives me great hope for the future.”

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