ACE’s Covid Response

On March 17th 2020, following government guidelines regarding the outbreak of Covid-19, the Dusty Forge transformed overnight from a busy community centre to an eerily quiet hub for vitally important crisis response work. ACE rapidly adapted work and refocused resources to support the emerging needs of our community.

While our doors remained shut to the public for months to come, our services continued digitally, over the phone and by home delivery.

Our staff and volunteers stepped up to the challenge and what we have achieved together is truly remarkable.

There are many stories to be told from this season, but for now here’s a brief snapshot of ACE’s activity over 6 months from March to September 2020.

During the Covid crisis and lock down ACE staff and volunteers have:

  • Provided 1083 food parcels to families through our Pantry collections and delivery service.
  • Provided phone based support to 440 people struggling with a range of challenges related to the crisis.
  • Provided Mental Health support to 196 people.
  • Supplied 6 cooking packs each to 50 young people, totalling 300 family meals.
  • Provided 27 people with weekly ‘Phone Friend’ calls.
  • Provided 109 people with prescription deliveries.
  • Supplied 45 people with Back Home Boxes after a hospital stay.
  • Worked with partners Grow Cardiff to get people in Ely and Caerau growing fruit and veg in their back gardens.
  • Engaged 30 pupils from Cardiff West Community High School in CAER Heritage Project activities.
  • Supported around 100 people to dig more than 35 back garden archaeological test pits exploring our local history through CAER’s Big Dig.

In September we gradually opened up the Dusty Forge again to meet safely face-to-face
and welcome back community groups. Life might be returning to some kind of normality,
but the challenges brought by the pandemic will be affecting people in our community for
months and years to come. And we will be right here, evolving and adapting as needs
develop and continuing to support our local community.

This work was supported by Macmillan Cancer Care through their funding of a Macmillan
Development Officer in the 2020-21 financial year (to be featured fully in next year’s annual
report). This additional investment came at the perfect time, allowing ACE to develop a
community response to specific health and wellbeing needs arising from the pandemic,
including the delivery of ‘back home boxes’, prescription collections, bereavement
support and support for social isolation

Community member, , donated food collected from her street for Back Home Boxes. __ is holding a Kindness Card which are distributed alongside Back Home Boxes.