Ely challenges poverty – Thursday

Poverty A picture of Cardiff Bay
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
ViewsOctober 14th, 2021

Each day in Challenge Poverty Week, Nerys Sheehan from Action in Caerau and Ely describes her day at the Dusty Forge Community Centre. Here are her reflections on Thursday. 

A full morning of both face to face and telephone appointments. Supported a gentleman to claim Personal Independence Payment. This chap currently works and didn’t realise he could claim some financial help whilst still being in work. Also helped someone claim benefits because they had lost their job due to the furlough scheme coming to an end. This person had never been in the situation before so having to navigate the complex system can be so daunting.

The advantages of the new welfare system from my perspective is that I can easily help someone make a claim online, be that for the new style ESA, JSA and UC. Its really easy to do and prevents me from having to listen to the hold music that hasn’t changed in the last 8 years! However I really do feel for people who are not comfortable in using the internet, especially as its not just a case of making a claim online, but the claim needs to be managed online too.

27 visits were made to Pantry. As I left last night the volunteers were busy decorating the pantry so I came in this morning to spiders, body parts and webs! It really does look cool and Sarah, Alex, Mari and Marian have been really busy today. As the entrance to the pantry is the same entrance as the shop they gets lots of people just popping in for some food. They are so ideally placed to be able to chat with them and advise them of the support we can offer through the Community Support project.

We also welcomed Stefan into the centre and Sarah put him to work, last I saw of him he was sorting the fruit and veg amidst the chaos! We also had a visit from a project in St Mellon’s looking to set up something similar. We are always happy to welcome people to visit our pantry. Sam and I benefited from visiting 3 different pantry’s in Stockport 3 years ago and it gave us so many ideas and the realisation that we could really make something similar happen in our community. We are all on a learning journey and with the common goal of making sure people don’t go hungry.

Café Barr did a fantastic job of feeding people today and the café area was busy all day. We are really missing our Tash who is unwell but Julie, Amanda, Rob and J did a fantastic job in making sure everything ran as smoothly as possible. Get well soon Tash.

Tomorrow we have our wonderful volunteers Kelly and Kerry in organising the Weekender packs ready to be delivered to families and another focus group this time in our new heritage centre. This is part of the wider Bevan work I mentioned in my previous blog.

I had hoped to write this from home and taking advantage of our flexible work options. This is so appreciated by us staff as it really does help with childcare and juggling home and work life. We are really lucky that our Co Directors understand this and encourage us to make use of the time, it also helps when you need some quite time as the centre is so busy often you find yourself distracted! However I found myself locked out of the house so I have had to return to the office! 🙁

Back tomorrow for the last blog of the week. x

One Response

  1. Bev Pold says:

    Thanks for the memory – as an old Ely girl, I am always sad to see the suburb get bad press from time to time but it is, and always will be, a community. When I was growing up the Dusty Forge was still a pub and attracted all kinds of people; there were two cinemas still doing roaring business, youth clubs in St Francis, The Resurrection, Ely Trelai school as well as thriving businesses. Since becoming a Community Hub, the Dusty Forge has been providing the critical support and guidance essential for the residents. Congratulations on all your achievements and keep up the good work.

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