The Barclays 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Funding awarded a grant of £100,000 to support The Wallich, a leading Welsh homelessness and rough sleeping charity, in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Barclays 100 x 100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Funding enabled The Wallich to:
- Support a total of 3,400 people since October 2020 across 71 projects in 18 Welsh local authorities.
- Provided 500 bed spaces across 188 properties for people who might otherwise be on the streets.
- Supply 350 frontline staff with more than 50,000 items of PPE including face masks, nitrile gloves, desk screens, sanitizer and thermometers to keep people safe and limit the transmission of COVID-19 within our projects.
- Tackle digital exclusion amongst The Wallich’s client group, providing laptops, tablets, and internet access for 95 service users.
- Maintain safe staffing levels to keep critical services running, covering 140 shifts when staff had to self-isolate.
- Adapting all service’s health and safety to ensure distancing measures can be adhered to, provide staff across eight projects with equipment to work remotely and enable the continued provision of support for 677 people at risk of homelessness.
Charities were invited to apply for one of 100 donations of £100,000, and Barclays were received hundreds of applications from charities across the UK delivering on-the-ground support to at-risk communities impacted by the crisis.
Barclays launched their 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme to support COVID-19 relief work in local communities. The programme, which forms part of their wider COVID-19 Community Aid Package, focuses on supporting UK charity partners who are meeting the immediate needs of people in our communities, including low income families, those facing financial hardship, isolated elderly people and key workers.
The Wallich’s expert homelessness teams across Wales have supported people with issues such as completing paperwork, accessing advice for housing, health and justice and completing Universal Credit applications. Access to the internet has been particularly crucial for everyone during the pandemic, The Wallich has enabled continued access to digital support services including DWP, education and employment programs, arts engagement activities, peer support and counselling sessions when they were without broadband or Wi-Fi.
In the throes of the pandemic from March 2020, The Wallich’s operating costs increased by £289,966. This included the cost of PPE, health and safety measures and increasing digital accessibility. With the support of Barclays and the wider Welsh community, The Wallich has been able to maintain service delivery and cover these unexpected costs throughout the year and remain in a strong position to continue providing support throughout and beyond this crisis.
The Wallich CEO, Dr Lindsay Cordery-Bruce, said, “Thanks to the ongoing support from Barclays, The Wallich has provided vital support to 3,400 people experiencing homelessness. Whilst rough sleeping seems to have physically decreased on the streets, homelessness has not gone away. The pressures of COVID-19 have in some cases heightened those indicators which can lead to homelessness: family breakdown, mental health, substance misuse, evictions, unemployment or loss of income to name a few.
“It was not an option for us to close all of our services during the pandemic, because clearly people needed our help. However, with the support of organisations like Barclays, they have helped to ensure that support has remained available for anyone who needed it and that staff could provide that support safely.”
Nigel Higgins, Barclays Chairman, said, “COVID-19 has created an unprecedented social and economic impact in the UK, with many experiencing greater hardship due to the crisis. Incredible charities, such as The Wallich have been playing a vital role in the UK’s response to the pandemic, ensuring urgent help reaches those most in need of support.
“As a bank we have been doing all we can for our customers, clients and colleagues, and we hope that by partnering with The Wallich and many other charities across the UK, collectively we can ensure that as many people as possible in the communities in which we live and work are supported through this crisis.”