The Welsh Government fund was set up to get funding to the people who needed it most.
The purpose of the fund was to enable organisations providing vital support to groups such as people in isolation, elderly people, carers and people struggling to access food, for example, so that they can be supported during this time.
The WCVA Voluntary Services Emergency Fund (VSEF) supported The Wallich with a grant of £91,278.35 to assist with the delivery of homelessness services.
With the support of the emergency fund, we have been able to provide reactive help to people during the pandemic.
We were able to maintain critical frontline homelessness services throughout the pandemic, providing support and keeping more 4,723 people safe.
Our 350 frontline staff were supplied with more than 200,000 items of PPE to limit the transmission of COVID-19 within our projects.
Throughout the pandemic we have continued to monitor our usage and stock of PPE across our projects, which are being managed by three regional hubs.
At The Wallich, we made adaptations to our project environments to facilitate the safe re-opening of 68 services across Wales.
A dedicated team of 14 volunteers and staff prepared and delivered 3,458 meals to 184 people in temporary accommodation across south Wales.
We also ensured that more than 1,000 people had access to food during periods of lockdown and isolation and over the Christmas period.
With COVID-19 and associated restrictions still in place at Christmas, we anticipated a higher volume of clients – who would usually travel to visit friends and family – would remain in their accommodation.
As such, we ensured meals were provided and available for our clients in our residential projects.
We also prepared and delivered food parcels to clients living independently and on low incomes.
COVID-19 and the ongoing effects of distancing measures and isolation has had a significant impact on the mental health of the people we support.
The Reflections Network, our therapeutic counselling service, experienced extremely high demand during the pandemic.
In January 2021, we had a waiting list of 52 clients in need of counselling.
With the support of the WCVA Voluntary Services Emergency Fund, we were able to provide 54 additional counselling sessions through our existing network, reducing the backlog and helping people receive support without undue delay.
The emergency fund helped us provide laptops and tablets to tackle digital exclusion.
Our service users desperately needed equipment to keep in touch with their family and friends and maintain engagement with online support and involvement services.
Early in the pandemic, we established five overarching aims: