This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health.  

The week, which is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is in its 20th year and runs from 18-24 May. This year, the theme for the week is kindness. Across the country, people will be celebrating kindness in a range of digital and creative ways within social distancing restrictions.

In many ways, kindness in our communities has never been more important. Simple acts, like offering help with shopping, calling in on friends and neighbours, or collecting prescriptions for people shielding are now commonplace as we try and stop the spread of coronavirus.

The kindness and dedication shown by NHS staff, care workers and all our key workers in the face of this virus has been inspiring for all of us.

To help celebrate this week, I’ve picked out a few examples of people and organisations going above and beyond in Cardiff Central in this time. I wrote about these in my previous monthly newsletter to constituents, and I’ll be doing the same next month. If you’d like to sign up to receive my monthly update please click here.

Cardiff and Cathays High Schools Join Forces in PPE Appeal

As you may have seen from social media, the DT departments of Cardiff and Cathays High Schools have been busy putting their skills and technology to use to provide vital PPE to our frontline health staff across South Wales. Between them, they’ve already made more than 5000 masks and are targeting 7500 next – they’re currently fundraising for purchase of the materials they need to get there, and you can donate by clicking here.

St Teilo’s High School Foodbank

St Teilo’s Church in Wales High School in Llanederyn is providing emergency supplies to families experiencing food poverty. School staff are delivering packages to family homes including food and drink, toiletries and feminine hygiene products. In partnership with Cardiff Foodbank, they’re also issuing Foodbank vouchers every Wednesday between 10am and 12.30pm from the school.

Any donations would be gratefully received. In particular, the school would benefit from gifts of: toiletries and household cleaning products; tea, coffee and sugar; fruit juice and lifelong milk; and tinned meats. Donations may be dropped off at the school every Wednesday morning. Any members of the community requiring practical help or assistance – or those who would simply like to hear a friendly voice – are encouraged to visit www.covid19help.org.uk. Support will be arranged between community partners, including Christchurch United Church, Cyncoed Ministry Area, Glenwood Church and St Teilo’s.

Dar-Ul-Isra PPE Appeal

Dar-ul-isra Mosque has been fundraising to provide every GP practice in Cardiff with a PPE box, containing masks, visors, gowns and more. They’ve already raised over £15,000 for this effort, and have now moved on to their second project of supplying the intensive care unit in the Royal Gwent Hospital, along with district nurses, palliative care teams and community care teams right across South Wales. Their work has been inspiring, thank you for all your efforts in keeping our carers and health workers safe.

You can read more, and contribute to the effort by clicking here.

Councillor Norma Mackie 

One of the most inspiring things throughout this crisis has been the sight of so many retired NHS returning to work in their thousands to support the frontline fight against COVID-19. Our very own Cathays Councillor, Norma Mackie, has re-joined the NHS as a bank care assistant. Thank you Norma and to everyone who has re-joined the NHS and care sector at personal risk, to help. It is inspiring.

Local Labour Councillors 

Local Labour Councillors have been busy across Cardiff Central helping their communities through the pandemic. Dan, Sue, Mary and Pete in Roath, Owen in Adamsdown and Ali, Norma, Sarah and Chris in Cathays have been busy collecting prescriptions, doing shopping and delivering green bags for residents who are confined to their homes for self-isolation. It’s been great to see all parts of our communities springing into action to help those most in need. Thank you to all of your for your efforts.

Local Support Groups

Support groups, run by amazing community volunteers have sprung into action right across Cardiff Central. There is now a support group covering each and every corner of the constituency – helping with shopping, dog walking, telephone calls and more. Thank you to all the incredible volunteers. It’s these acts of kindness that we will all remember once we are through this crisis. If you need support, or want to get involved, the support groups and volunteering information is below.Cathays/Roath COVID-19 Support

Cyncoed COVID-19 Support

Penylan COVID-19 Support

Cardiff Network COVID-19 Support

Al-Ikhlas Centre Support and Food Appeal

The Al Ikhlas Culture and Education Centre in Adamsdown have also been working hard to support local people by shopping, collecting prescriptions and organising donations of food for the foodbank. Thank you for all your efforts so far, and if you can help the collection, you can find out more information by clicking here.

Cardiff Foodbank

Cardiff Foodbank are currently going above and beyond to maintain their level of service to the most vulnerable in our city. I was in the distribution centre this week and it’s clear that a perfect storm of increased demand but reduced donations is taking place. If you can’t make physical food donations, but do have a few spare pounds, please consider donating to Cardiff Foodbank so they can continue their critical work in ensuring nobody in Cardiff goes hungry.

You can find out more about their work, and how to donate by clicking here.

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