New report commends Welsh local authority partnership

A new report from the Welsh Government commends the way that local authorities and the third sector worked together to plan and co-ordinate local support for non-shielding vulnerable groups and individuals.

Although the survey indicated evidence of higher levels of loneliness and isolation among vulnerable groups during the pandemic, local authorities and County Voluntary Councils (CVCs) provided numerous examples of positive impacts on community support and strengthened social connections within communities.

Voluntary and community action across Wales has been strongly focused on supporting vulnerable people, and the groups and communities most affected by coronavirus. The report also notes increased levels of volunteering at a local level, with the pandemic resulting in more and new forms of volunteering.

While local authorities and CVCs have introduced initiatives aimed at reducing digital exclusion, the report also recommends that more support is needed to improve digital skills and access among vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.

Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, said: “Right across Wales, teams of volunteers have directly supported vulnerable members of their local community by providing support with shopping and medication collection, as well as befriending services to help tackle loneliness and isolation. This work has freed up local authorities, health and social care services to enable them to provide vital services to the most vulnerable amongst us.

“Volunteers and third sector organisations have already made a huge difference across Welsh communities. Communities have shown how well volunteers work together, and I wish to applaud and celebrate the efforts made. Please carry on doing whatever you can to support your local area – it all makes a difference. Just remember to stay safe, and follow Welsh Government’s Covid-19 guidelines.”