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Steve Watkins from Age Connects Torfaen delivering hot food to Myra Jones in Garndiffaith

Funding has allowed Age Connects Torfaen to adapt its services to ensure that older people living within the local community do not miss out on vital support during the continued Coronavirus pandemic.

The organisation, which pre-Covid provided a lunch club to some 200 members of the local community, received £4,200 from Wales & West Utilities Safe and Warm fund which has allowed them to continue their support in other ways.

Age Connects Torfaen planned to adapt to provide a hot meal delivery service and with Wales & West Utilities support they were able to do just that.

The funding allowed them to buy ingredients to continue to provide homecooked meals and the appropriate containers to ensure food remained hot, as well as covering delivery costs.

The Safe and Warm Fund was designed to directly help those working in communities, targeting support at those who need it most.

We are delighted that the fund will now support so many organisations across our operating area, who like Age Connects Torfaen, are helping local communities respond to Coronavirus.

Seeing communities come together to face the challenge of Coronavirus has been fantastic – and everyone at Wales & West Utilities is excited to see these projects come to life and how they will make a positive impact on the lives of people most in need.

Graham Edwards, Wales & West Utilities Chief Executive

Before the pandemic hit, our lunch club would attract up to 200 local over-50’s each week, providing them with a hot meal in social surroundings. Of course, by the end of March all that changed, and we needed to adapt so that all those who benefitted from our services could continue to do so.”

Our hot meal delivery service has been such a hit and the feedback has been positive. So much so that we have adapted further to run virtual lunch clubs, for those with access to the internet.

The benefits of a homecooked meal are evident and we are delighted that the funding allowed us to continue so that local people across Torfaen are able to feel connected to their friends. On behalf of everyone who uses our services I’d like to thank Wales & West Utilities for the funding.

Emma Wootten, Development Co-ordinator for Age Connects Torfaen

Age Connects Torfaen is the operating title of Age Concern Torfaen – an independent charity for older people living in Torfaen and the surrounding area.

Wales & West Utilities set up the Safe and Warm Fund to help organisations and charities directly respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. The gas emergency and pipeline service has been working hard throughout the pandemic to make sure people are kept safe and warm in their homes and opened the fund to help others in communities across Wales and the south west of England do the same.