On a visit to CATCH (Cwmtawe Action To Combat Hardship), a foodbank based in Ystalyfera, Neath MP Peter Hain has urged communities to keep the donations coming over the Christmas and New Year period.
Mr Hain dropped off his own donation to CATCH and praised volunteers who established and now run the organisation. The Neath MP was told that CATCH had helped hundreds since its first food pack was issued on 4th June 2013.
‘The volunteers are doing a fantastic job helping some of the most vulnerable in the Swansea valley area. I was very impressed by the hard work, diligence and attentiveness of the volunteers to ensure households in need receive the help they require.’
They help people in many different circumstances, from families and couples to single parents and individuals, working with a network of professionals like the Red Cross and Communities First who can refer people to CATCH. Individuals can also make self referrals and CATCH will assess the circumstances and help where they can.
CATCH is open for referrals and donations Wednesday and Friday 11am to 2pm and is based in St David’s Church Hall, Ystalyfera.
Speaking with volunteers Mr Hain was told that the three most common reasons for referral were households managing on a limited income receiving an a sudden extra expense that they haven’t budgeted for; flow of income interrupted either through job loss or a change or delay in benefit; and a change of circumstance such as bereavement, relationship break-down or loss of accommodation.
Concluding Mr Hain said, ‘It is a sad indictment of the times we live in where people are forced to turn to Foodbanks like this in the Swansea Valley or the Neath Foodbank. But it speaks volumes of the caring spirit in our communities which is movingly impressive.’