The Catholic Archdiocese of Cardiff is one of just 100 UK charities – including seven in Wales – to be awarded £100,000 under Barclays 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme to support local communities suffering food poverty as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Barclays launched their 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme to support COVID-19 relief work in local communities. The programme, which forms part of their wider COVID-19 Community Aid Package, focuses on supporting UK charity partners who are meeting the immediate needs of people in our communities, including low income families, those facing financial hardship, isolated elderly people and key workers.
The charity has been providing emergency food parcels and crisis support to the most marginalised in communities since the start of the pandemic. Working closely with volunteers the diocese has responded to the urgent need to address food poverty across south Wales and Herefordshire. Over £50,000 in COVID-19 support has already been distributed to foodbanks, parishes and Catholic schools in direct response to the crisis. This is part of a wider set of community response measures being led by Catholic dioceses across the UK.
Responding to the award, Archbishop George Stack said:
“We can all agree that no one should suffer from food poverty at any time, perhaps especially during this ‘Season of Plenty’ as the advertisers remind us. We in the Archdiocese of Cardiff are only too well aware that this Christmas is going to be a particularly difficult time for many families this year. In this regard, it is our privilege to be able to support those in need with the generous help provided by Barclays and our many other supporters.”
“Those who serve their community are often called ‘unsung heroes’. It is my hope that our volunteers, who have done so much to support others at this time, appreciate that collectively they are undertaking an ‘heroic’ effort combatting the effects of the pandemic. I want to thank all volunteers – known and unknown – for everything they are doing in support of others.”
Nigel Higgins, Barclays Chairman, said:
“COVID-19 has created an unprecedented social and economic impact in the UK, with many experiencing greater hardship due to the crisis. Incredible charities, such as the Archdiocese of Cardiff, have been playing a vital role in the UK’s response to the pandemic, ensuring urgent help reaches those most in need of support.
“As a bank we have been doing all we can for our customers, clients and colleagues, and we hope that by partnering with the Archdiocese of Cardiff and many other charities across the UK, collectively we can ensure that as many people as possible in the communities in which we live and work are supported through this crisis.”
St Michael’s Primary School, Newport, recognised early on that the pandemic was going to have a dramatic impact on families. Mr Peter Landers, the Chair of Governors, said:
“Many of our parents have significant financial challenges. The COVID-19 crisis has made things worse, especially for hard working families who were just getting by before the lockdown.
“Both the financial and spiritual support of the Catholic Church has been greatly appreciated at this difficult time.”
Funding will allow the Archdiocese of Cardiff to expand its existing food poverty relief work with schools like St Michael’s as over £100,000 worth of digital supermarket food vouchers to be distributed in the run up to Christmas and beyond.
With many of the charity’s foodbanks struggling to cope with local demand, exacerbated by the need to socially distance, the ability to send vouchers electronically will prove a major advantage.
The project will support over 8,000 vulnerable individuals. Working closely with schools and other charities, 3,200 disadvantaged households across 11 local authorities will be identified and supported in time for Christmas.
To donate to the Archbishop’s Food Voucher Christmas Appeal, visit rcadc.org/donations