Hundreds benefit from 'Helping Hands' project during lockdown

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Families in Merthyr and the surrounding areas received vital food packages during the peak of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to a team of volunteers and a generous donation from a local supermarket.

Our volunteers in Bedlinog teamed up with other local volunteers to run ‘Helping Hands’; a food bank project run by Bedlinog and Trelewis Community Support Group, which helped package and deliver food parcels to families in need during the first wave of lockdown.

Across five months, the project, financially supported by Bedlinog Community Council, helped over 45 shielding families every week and was made possible thanks to Morrisons supermarket and other local providers.

The community was awarded thousands of pounds worth of food packages from the supermarket as part of its commitment to distribute £10m worth of food to food banks across the UK during the national lockdown earlier this year.

“As lockdown took hold, we saw many people and families struggle and as the local Community and County Councillor,  we needed to act fast to help our community.

On behalf of the hundreds of families who have benefitted from our free deliveries, I want to say thank you and share how incredibly grateful we are for the support of Morrisons and local volunteers during the first lockdown.”

Councillor Sherelle Jago, Merthyr County Borough Council and founder of the Helping Hands project

“We’re incredibly grateful for the support Morrsions have given to our community during this particularly difficult time.

Myself and fellow volunteers really pulled together to make sure no one went hungry during the most uncertain of times with over 1,000 hours spent supporting our community."

St John Ambulance Cymru Bedlinog volunteer, Shaun Lewis

Ms Jago continued:

“Like so many others during the pandemic, volunteers have put their lives on the line to help others in a bid to ensure our most vulnerable families and individuals in our community were supported and looked after. 

Volunteers like Shaun are invaluable and I can’t thank them enough for their dedication and assistance.” 

The Helping Hand project was set up in April and ran until September and helped the most vulnerable get vital food and supplies they needed to survive. This often included families of those on low incomes, had lost their jobs or who were shieling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over 2,000 deliveries were made to vulnerable residents and families during this period.

We are Wales’ leading first aid provider and while our volunteers would normally be providing first aid at national and community events, they have instead been supporting Welsh communities in a number of different ways including front line support in the fight against COVID-19 and the essential delivery of goods and medicine.

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