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Overcoming the impact of Covid-19 in Merthyr Tydfil

September 4th 2020

How can services in the Merthyr Tydfil area support people who have been shielding?

Woman with face covered

The problem
People who were advised to shield have faced many challenges during lockdown and many have not left the house since March. This has had a clear impact on their health and well-being and will have increased feelings of isolation and loneliness. Shielding was paused on August 16th, however people can feel particularly vulnerable, are extremely isolated and yet are reluctant to return to their previous lives as they feel the risks of going out outweigh those of catching Covid-19.

We have also found that many of the support services in Merthyr Tydfil to combat loneliness and isolation have been either suspended completely or changed their format. Many groups previously provided social activities, and although lockdown is easing, they have said they will struggle to return to the same type of provision. Some groups of those that support older people and people who are shielding are now delivering services online, but not all service users are able to engage in this way. As lockdown eases, restrictions on social interaction are likely to remain for some time even if people are willing to participate.

What are we doing? 

We will be engaging with organisations who are supporting people who have been shielding to find out what are the challenges and barriers, what gaps exist and how these can be overcome. We will also be engaging with people with direct experience of shielding to understand how their needs could be met.

What are the aims of the project?

This timely project will develop practical solutions to support people in the Merthyr Tydfil area, and will focus on two key urgent challenges facing those who have been shielding:

  1. Combatting the impact of loneliness and isolation.
  2. Overcoming the impact of Covid-19.

Our project will increase understanding of the specific difficulties facing people affected and develop practical and deliverable local solutions that will help reduce the social isolation and improve the health and well-being of people who have shielded.

The project has been kindly funded by the Third Sector Small Grant Scheme.

We would love to hear from organisations who are supporting people who have been shielding and those with direct experience of shielding in Merthyr Tydfil. Please contact [email protected] for more details.

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