In June 2020 the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation awarded £1,000,000 to the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales to provide immediate relief to those facing financial difficulties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Archdiocese of Cardiff and the Diocese of Menevia were grateful to be the fifth-largest recipient of this funding following an award of £51,760 to support parish-led community response measures across south Wales.
Working closely with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, affiliated foodbanks, Catholic schools and other partners, our parish volunteers have supported families and individuals in astonishing ways. Food parcels and hot meals have been provided to elderly and isolated individuals; young families unable to access school meals have been helped with the weekly shop. This ‘lifeline’ support, as it has often been described, has reached some of the most marginalised within our communities.
Grassroot initiatives to tackle poverty over the summer have expanded the work already being done in a number of parishes and schools. Food poverty and food insecurity are a reality for many across the Diocese. Speaking on behalf of St Michael’s Primary School in Newport, Chairperson of the Board of Governors, Mr Peter Landers, said:
‘School staff are very much at the sharp end of the unfolding Coronavirus tragedy that I fear still has a long way to run. I am enormously proud of what they do for our school community and am grateful for all the external support that helps us to look after the wellbeing of our pupils. We are very grateful to the Archdiocese of Cardiff and the Albert Gubay Foundation’.
Funding received from the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation has enabled volunteers to support the most vulnerable, alleviating pressures experienced by struggling families. Addressing food poverty and helping people to get back on their feet lies at the heart of this activity. Archbishop George Stack said:
‘Those who serve their community are often called “unsung heroes”. It is my hope that those 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 current pandemic. I want to thank everyone for all that they are doing and to thank the Albert Gubay Charitable Foundation for their support’.
As a result of this funding 1,086 families and 1,521 individuals have been helped. As well as relieving immediate needs, this project is part of a wider relief effort mounted by the Catholic Church in south Wales including the Staying Together While Apart project.