Flintshire County Council and Well Fed – the partnership between the Council, Clwyd Alyn and Can Cook – have been doing great work since the beginning of this difficult time – not just supporting people who are shielding but also vulnerable families not covered by the Welsh Government scheme.
By the time the shielding scheme is paused from 16 August, Flintshire and partners Well-Fed will have provided over 45,000 fresh meals and staple provisions to our residents who required support during this time.
Residents who have received this support included those who were shielded due to medical vulnerability. Welsh Government provided a basic food parcel for shielded residents and these food parcels have been supplemented by Well-Fed meals and fresh staple provisions, such as milk, bread, eggs, cheese and ham. We have been making over 500 deliveries each week to households in Flintshire which has been an amazing collective effort across the council, partner organisations and the voluntary sector as well as people who have come forward to offer their services as volunteers – their support has been invaluable.
Following the last deliveries of Welsh Government food parcels, which will be on 11 August in Flintshire, the Council and Well-Fed will, with support from some National Lottery funding and other grants, continue to support those who have indicated they still have a requirement for food – this could be for a range of reasons including:
- concerns due to medical vulnerability and going out and about following the pause of the shielding programme;
- lack of a support network to enable them to access food;
- isolation issues which mean there is difficulty accessing food;
- vulnerability around homelessness/temporary accommodation situation.
Flintshire County Council’s Benefits Manager, Jen Griffiths, said:
“This list is not exhaustive and our teams of dedicated and skilled people, who have been keeping in touch with vulnerable residents throughout this time, will be contacting residents to establish their ongoing support needs so that we can ensure the pausing of the shielding scheme and the ending of the Welsh Government food provision does not create a “cliff edge” for our residents who have ongoing requirements or support needs.
“We will initially operate a six week transition period which will run consecutively and during that time our teams and partner Well-Fed will continue to work with residents to develop a sustainable affordable food solution for the future.”
In addition to the food supplies, Flintshire County Council has worked in partnership with the voluntary sector and other public sector organisations to provide support including:
- Issuing regular and up-to-date information via press releases, adverts in the local media, leaflets distributed with food deliveries and letters directly targeting vulnerable residents;
- An information booklet was sent out with food deliveries in May which included useful information – this can be seen here.
- A further letter and information booklet is due to be sent to all people shielding when shielding is paused later this month – again with useful information and also reassuring residents that they are not alone and help and support is available.
“During this time, our teams from across all services have come together to provide a robust and practical way of supporting our most vulnerable residents. Lessons have been learnt and contacts and relationships established which will now be taken forward to maintain the support for shielding residents in the weeks and months to come. Flintshire County Council is proud of how our teams have responded to this situation and we will continue to address residents’ concerns so that no-one in Flintshire is left feeling isolated.”