Gilfach Goch Community Association (GGCA) is a charity that has been running since 1996, located in Rhondda Cynon Taff, bordering Bridgend. GGCA work to support the community in a variety of ways including education, health, poverty relief and employment. Normally they run a range of programmes including after school clubs, youth clubs, parent and toddler groups and disability groups. They also have an active inclusion employment programme, community café, hair salon and conference rooms available. GGCA supports people of all ages and also supports people outside of Gilfach, in Cardiff, Bridgend and the valleys.
As a result of COVID many of their activities have had to move online. For example they are offering remote support for CV writing and one-one support with youth workers, as well as online cookery and yoga courses. The nursery remains open as childcare is permitted and the café is open for deliveries. GGCA are also running a COVID relief project through the welsh government scheme and are delivering meals and food to the community.
GGCA started their partnership with FareShare Cymru a few months ago, around October 2020. The aim of joining the FareShare scheme was to provide additional support for members of the community on top of what GGCA are getting through the government. GGCA are sponsored by Morganstone, a local building firm, who wanted to help GGCA in some capacity as part of their community outreach project. Initially it was suggested that they would build a fence or do some tarmacking for them, but they then decided on FareShare as it has a direct impact on people in the community. Morganstone’s sponsorship covered GGCAs sign up costs to FareShare Cymru, enabling GGCA to receive weekly food deliveries.
GGCA get a FareShare delivery every Tuesday which they collect from Bridgend. They use the food from FareShare as an addition to the COVID provision they are getting from the Welsh government. The advantage of the FareShare supplies is that they can give it out to anyone who needs it and they don’t have to meet any eligibility requirements. This flexibility also means that people can get certain items that they really need. In normal circumstances GGCA could use the FareShare food parcels to support their disability groups and after school clubs in activities such as cookery classes. However, at the moment the FareShare food gets distributed to the community as it is.
“The variety of what we get from FareShare is really good. Before we used to get mainly longer life supplies such as beans or pasta but with FareShare we receive more fresh stuff – orange juice drinks, bread, fruit and veg. This means that we are not just giving people something to eat in the evening but breakfast and lunch as well.”
The food has an impact on people’s wellbeing as well, providing an avenue for them to open up about other things they may be struggling with, such as their mental health, employment or housing benefits, which the GGCA staff are able to support them with.
“FareShare has allowed us to access people that we potentially wouldn’t have spoken to before and has enabled more people to find out what we do. The more projects we run the more people we get to the centre and therefore more people get to access our services.”
With the FareShare scheme GGCA are able to access people who need it but perhaps have not come forward and requested help.
“It gives people that extra security and comfort, knowing that if they are short of food for a few days they can pop in and get provisions to keep them ticking over. This means they can use the money that they would be spending on food for other things, such as gas and electrics.”
GGCA are doing really great work and we are really proud to be able to help them support members of the community, especially during these difficult times.