Staying Together While Apart – Cardiff project to help the vulnerable during COVID-19

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The Archdiocese of Cardiff has been awarded a grant of £138,000 from the Welsh Government’s Voluntary Services Emergency Fund to support its new ‘Staying Together While Apart’ project.

The initiative, that will run for six months, aims to help the most vulnerable who are self-isolating across South Wales by delivering food, care packages and prescriptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project also focuses on the mental health of those suffering from isolation and loneliness at this time of separation and anxiety.

“We’re aiming to improve the mental health and wellbeing of older and vulnerable adults, as well as reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness, providing care to those suffering psychological distress, and fostering a sense of belonging and community,” says Klavdija Erzen, Project Manager for ‘Staying Together While Apart’. “We intend to use Zoom, Skype, live streaming, and YouTube podcasts along with the more traditional phone calls, letters, and even postcards to combat isolation and communicate messages of support to those in need.”

The Most Reverend George Stack, Archbishop of Cardiff, welcomed the award of the grant:

“The ‘diocesan family’ is a network of familiar individuals and organisations who are the first responders during a crisis. Following the closure of places of worship on the 18 March, these pastoral care mechanisms were removed from many who are not accustomed to identifying support elsewhere.

“We are delighted that this grant will allow us to expand the good work already taking place across the Archdiocese serving the wider community at this difficult time.”  

In its statement, the national membership body for voluntary organisations in Wales, WCVA, said:

“We know that the COVID-19 crisis has had a huge impact on everyone’s lives, but especially for those who have been shielding. Projects such as ‘Staying Together While Apart’ are vital in ensuring that those who need to self-isolate are able to.

“We are delighted that funding from the Voluntary Services Emergency Fund will now help The Archdiocese of Cardiff to continue their services at this time.”


If you have any questions or want to learn more about the ‘Staying Together While Apart’ initiative, you can contact Klavdija Erzen.