• Ground Floor, Mariners House, Trident Court, East Moors Road, Cardiff. CF24 5TD
  • 029 2043 1555
  • wsop@agecymru.org.uk

Our Aims

We have 4 main aims and they are:


To identify important issues that are of concern to, impact on, or otherwise affect the interests of older people in Wales.


To articulate and bring these issues and concerns to the attention of central government, the Welsh Government, other agencies and bodies and the general public as considered appropriate.


To communicate in an effective manner with its member organisations so as to keep them fully informed about the work and activities of the Senate.


To support the work of and make representations to the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales.

Our Latest News

Follow our latest news and thoughts, and also our latest work updates.

Apr 15, 2020

DATGANIAD/STATEMENT: Action is needed to protect older people and workers in care homes in Wales

Statement from Heléna Herklots CBE, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales: “Older people and their families continue to raise significant concerns about the issues currently facing care homes, such as access to NHS treatment and services, testing for staff and residents, and the availability of vital PPE. It is an extremely worrying time for those living and working in care homes and their friends and family. It is vital that more is done to protect older people and to support those who work with them.

Read more “I am therefore calling on the Welsh Government to ensure that: PPE is delivered effectively and consistently to care homes, and that they have adequate supplies of other infection control materials such as hand sanitizers; Testing is available for residents showing symptoms of Covid-19 so that appropriate care and treatment can be provided safely by care staff and others; Residents are able to access NHS services and treatment that they may need (including for Covid-19) and that there are no blanket policies applied excluding care home residents from receiving hospital treatment if their condition warrants it; All care homes are able to quickly access healthcare support and guidance including any need for training, for example, on infection control; All available staff are able to work through ensuring testing for staff who may be self-isolating because of symptoms they, or other members of their household, are experiencing; Emergency funding reaches care homes quickly for increased costs of agency staff to fill gaps; to meet needs there may be for higher staffing levels; and to meet additional costs such as infection control; and Information is captured and published about levels of infection and deaths, so there is transparency and so that the data informs decisions including on resource allocation. “I have called on the Welsh Government to urgently publish a specific action plan that sets out what will be done to protect older people and care workers and minimise the spread of Covid-19 in care homes in Wales, based on the above measures. “With coronavirus cases now suspected in nearly a third of care homes in Wales, immediate action is needed or older people living in care homes will be left significantly exposed to this virus, putting their lives and the lives of care home staff at risk. “I would like to thank care home staff across the country for all of their vital work, so much of which goes unseen, to support older people at this difficult time as they face unprecedented pressures. “To make sure that this vital support can continue, it’s crucial that the Welsh Government leads and delivers the action needed to ensure that older people living in care homes, and the people caring for them, have the support and equipment they need to keep them safe and well.” Link to article

February 03, 2021

Welsh Senate of Older People Manifesto 2021

Welsh Senate of Older People Manifesto 2021.

Read more The Welsh Senate of Older People is an independent, amalgamated force combining the voices of local and national organisations to empower older people across Wales.

Main aims:

  • To identify important issues that are of concern to, impact on, or otherwise affect the interests of older people in Wales.
  • To articulate and bring these issues and concerns to the attention of central government, to Welsh Government, other agencies and bodies and the general public.
  • To support the work of and make representations to the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales.
  • Key calls:

  • Combating ageism and age discrimination.
  • Review legislation and processes that indirectly discriminate against older people.
  • Combat and challenge discriminatory language and attitudes in Welsh society.
  • Promote and implement intergenerational programmes to enable Wales to become an age-friendly country.
  • Remove financial barriers to older people taking part in adult education. Bursaries and grants to be made available to those who are 60 and over.
  • .

    Information and engagement

  • Information on issues affecting older people and support available to be fully accessible and written in clear language.
  • Older people to be fully informed and consulted on legislation that affects them.
  • Information to be made available in all forms, not just electronically, and be widely distributed in communities.
  • Older people to be involved in decisions made at all levels of government. Consultations should not be merely an exercise, but an integrated part of decision-making and the legislative process.
  • Digital exclusion

  • Enact legislation to prevent service and product providers moving to online only availability.
  • Provide financial support for older people who would like to be digitally included.
  • Provide more free equipment and internet access in community spaces.
  • Health and care services

  • Frontline health services to be available in communities. Lack of GPs and nurse practitioners causes delays in accessing appointments and vital services for older people.
  • Hospital transport to be improved. Older people experience difficulties accessing appointments owing to issues with non-emergency ambulance services and a lack of public transport routes to hospitals and health centres.
  • Ensure local pharmacies and pharmacy-delivered services are retained.
  • Older people to be treated with dignity and be fully informed and involved regarding testing and treatment.
  • The care sector to be professionalised. Higher wages, professional training and a clear career path will encourage workers to choose the care sector and will improve the level of care provided.
  • Health and care services to be integrated. Public facilities and the built environment.
  • Public toilets to be available in all city, town and villages in Wales. Clean and safe public toilets are essential to enable older people to remain active and to access their communities.
  • Public areas, facilities and shopping centres to be accessible to all. Street design should include seating and places to meet for older people.
  • Fuel poverty

  • Energy efficiency schemes to be improved so older people can access support to make their homes safe and warm.
  • Energy suppliers to offer low cost schemes equivalent to online-only deals to those people who cannot access the internet.
  • Energy costs to be capped at an affordable level for anyone in receipt of Pension Credit.
  • TV licences

  • Enact legislation to give financial help to over 75s who have lost their free TV licences.
  • For further information please contact: The Welsh Senate of Older People Ground Floor, Mariners House Trident Court East Moors Road Cardiff CF24 5TD www.welshsenateofolderpeople.org
    Apr 16, 2020

    Treatment decisions and Do Not Attempt CPR

    “We are seeing shocking examples where blanket decisions seem to be being made about the care and treatment options that will be available to older and vulnerable people, who have felt pressurised into signing Do Not Attempt CPR forms.

    Read more “Alongside this, many of the people affected have experienced fear and anxiety, and feel that their lives and wishes do not matter. This is shameful and unacceptable. “Difficult and painful decisions will need to be made in the weeks ahead, but these must be made on a case-by-case basis, taking account of the risks and benefits, and people’s own wishes, through honest discussions between patients, doctors and families. Whether or not to sign a DNA-CPR form is an individual’s decision, and they have a right to make that decision without feeling pressurised. “We do not underestimate the significant pressures being faced by all staff working across our health and social care sectors at this difficult time, but it is crucial that we continue to protect people’s fundamental human rights. It would be completely unacceptable to abandon these rights in favour of taking blanket, discriminatory decisions. “It is also crucial that governments and health services across our four nations carefully consider the ways they can provide stronger leadership and guidance – to ensure that people’s rights are upheld and communication with vulnerable people is handled in a far more sensitive way to avoid further worry and upset as we navigate the difficult path ahead of us.” Heléna Herklots, Older People’s Commissioner for Wales Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director Age UK Deborah Alsina, Chief Executive Independent Age Jane Ashcroft, Chief Executive Anchor Hanover Victoria Lloyd, Chief Executive Age Cymru Eddie Lynch, Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland Donald Macaskill, Chief Executive Care Scotland Linda Robinson, Chief Executive Age Northern Ireland Brian Sloan, Chief Executive Age Scotland.

    Jan 20, 2019

    Coronavirus – how we can all help each other

    AgeUK says: I hope you’ve been getting on alright with the new guidance to stay at home. This has been a really difficult time for all of us, and particularly those over 70.

    Read more Right now, we’re focusing all our energy on helping older people through the coronavirus emergency. While it’s been challenging, I’ve been truly touched by the number of you who have reached out to ask me how you can help. I know that so many more of you will be looking to lend a hand to the older people in your communities, so I wanted to share with you our list of five practical ways to help right now. Whether it’s by having a chat, running an errand or just showing you care, together we can make a real difference to the older people who have found themselves isolated by this crisis. 5 Ways to Help > I also know that a lot of you will be really worried at the moment and might not be in a position to help others. If you need information, advice or just someone to talk to then Age UK is here for you. Our online coronavirus hub has loads of information on how to keep safe, busy and well while staying at home, and you can also use the phone numbers at the bottom of this email. Stay safe and all the best, Keep up to date Website: www.ageuk.org.uk/campaigns.

    Apr 20, 2020

    Useful phone numbers and contacts

    Here is a list of useful contact numbers for use during the pandemic. Some details are just for Dyfan ward, others are more general.

    Read more Here is a list of useful contact numbers for use during the pandemic. Some details are just for Dyfan ward, others are more general.
    If you have no support network contact:- Council Crisis Line /Crisis Support Team on 01446 729592  or  01446 700111. Out of hours calls will be diverted to emergency our of hours line or email yourcouncillor@gmail.com
    AGE Connects Cardiff and the Vale Community Support Line 02920 683600, Local office phone number 01446 747653
    Welsh Government – Coronavirus info  - . https://gov.wales/coronavirus
    Public Health Waleshttps://phw.nhs.wales/.
    Domestic Violence Live Free – 0808 801 0800 Atal Y Fro – 01446 744755
    Universal Credit  telephone  - 0800 024 1220 Advisers available 8am-6pm Monday – Friday
    Mind in the Vale  advice on mental health and Coronavirus 01446 730792 or admin@mindinthevale.org.uk
    Samaritans  telephone - 116 123
    Citizens Advice (9am-5pm Monday -Friday) Advicelink Cymru 0344 477 2020 www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales/benefits   Consumer Helpline  - 0345 404 0506 (Welsh speaker  - 0345 404 0505)
    Care and Repair. A charity working in cooperation with the Vale Council to ensure that older people’s homes are safe and secure.  If you need work done in the house make enquiries on telephone - 029 2047 3337 or 0300 111 3333 0r visit online www.careandrepair.org.uk
    POLICE  in an emergency - 999 non urgent calls - 101 report  incident/crime via email publicservicecentre@south-wales.pnn.police.uk   CRIMESTOPPERS  - 0800 555 111
    Gas Leak  - 0800 11 999 Power Cut  - 0800 678 3105 Dwr Cymru  - 0800 085 3968
    AMBULANCE 999 University Hospital Wales - 029 2074 7747 Barry Hospital  minor injuries - 01446 704086

    Apr 23, 2020

    DATGANIAD/STATEMENT: Dydych chi ddim ar eich pen eich hun. Rydyn ni yma i chi a gallwn eich helpu a’ch cefnogi.\\You’re not alone. We’re here for you and we can help and support you.

    Help for you during the lockdown

    Read more

    Dydych chi ddim ar eich pen eich hun. Rydyn ni yma i chi a gallwn eich helpu a’ch cefnogi.

    22 Ebrill

    Mae sefydliadau sy’n gweithio i ddiogelu ac i amddiffyn pobl sy’n cael eu cam-drin neu sy’n dioddef troseddau wedi dod at ei gilydd i sicrhau bod pobl hŷn yn gallu cael y gefnogaeth sydd ei hangen arnynt i'w cadw’n ddiogel ac wedi’u hamddiffyn yn ystod y cyfnod anodd hwn.

    Ac mae ganddynt neges syml i bobl hŷn yng Nghymru a allai fod mewn perygl: Dydych chi ddim ar eich pen eich hun. Rydyn ni yma i chi a gallwn eich helpu a’ch cefnogi.

    Mae aelodau’r grŵp newydd yn gweithio gyda’i gilydd i sicrhau bod pobl hŷn sydd mewn perygl o niwed yn cael yr wybodaeth sydd ei hangen arnynt ynghylch lle i droi am gymorth, a'u bod yn gwybod bod gwasanaethau cymorth yn dal ar gael o hyd er gwaethaf y tarfu presennol.

    Maent hefyd yn gweithio i godi ymwybyddiaeth ymysg y cyhoedd o’r rhan y gallwn i gyd ei chwarae o ran helpu i amddiffyn pobl hŷn.

    Mae’r grŵp wedi dod at ei gilydd oherwydd bod y coronafeirws a’r cyfyngiadau symud wedi golygu bod rhai pobl hŷn yng Nghymru mewn mwy o beryg o gam-drin domestig (neu ffurfiau eraill o gam-drin), esgeulustod neu gael eu targedu gan droseddwyr.

    Dywedodd Heléna Herklots CBE, Comisiynydd Pobl Hŷn Cymru:

    “Er ein bod wedi gweld y gorau o’n cymunedau dros yr wythnosau diwethaf, gyda chymaint o waith yn cael ei wneud i helpu ac i gefnogi pobl hŷn, mae’n hanfodol ein bod yn cydnabod bod yr wythnosau diwethaf wedi bod yn eithriadol o anodd i nifer o bobl. Bydd llawer o bobl hŷn wedi teimlo’n ofnus ac ar eu pen eu hunain.

    “Dyna pam rydyn ni wedi dod at ein gilydd – i roi gwybod i bobl hŷn nad ydyn nhw ar eu pen eu hunain, ein bod ni yma a gallwn ni eu helpu a’u cefnogi.”

    Dywedodd Cyfarwyddwr Hourglass Cymru (Action on Elder Abuse Cymru o’r blaen), Rachael Nicholson:

    “Mae ein hymchwil wedi dangos rhai agweddau brawychus tuag at bobl hŷn a chredoau ynghylch beth sydd yn gam-drin, rhywbeth a ddylai beri pryder i ni mewn cyfnod pan allai cyfyngiadau symud parhaus olygu bod dioddefwyr hŷn yn cael eu dal mewn amgylchedd lle mae tensiynau’n gwaethygu ac mae cam-drin yn dod yn fwy tebygol, a phan fydd diffyg cyswllt cymdeithasol arferol yn cynyddu’r risg o esgeulustod.

    “Mae yna bobl hŷn sy’n byw ar eu pen eu hunain sy’n gorfod hunanynysu, sy’n golygu eu bod yn fwy unig, yn ynysu’n gymdeithasol a gallai eu llesiant meddwl ddioddef. Mae’r ffactorau hyn yn cynyddu'r cyfleoedd o ddioddef niwed, cam-drin neu ecsbloetio yn sylweddol, yn ogystal â’r effeithiau negyddol ar iechyd. Rydyn ni’n poeni bod pobl hŷn yn ei chael hi’n anodd cael gafael ar gefnogaeth, diogelwch a gwasanaethau allweddol eraill neu nad ydynt yn sylweddoli bod cymorth ar gael iddynt.

    “Mae llinell gymorth Hourglass Cymru ar gael i unrhyw un sy’n poeni am y risg uwch o gam-drin ac esgeulustod i bobl hŷn yn ystod y cyfnod heriol hwn, boed y cam-drin hwnnw’n cael ei wneud gan anwyliaid, gweithwyr proffesiynol neu bobl ddieithr.”

    Dywedodd llefarydd ar ran Heddluoedd Cymru:

    “Dros y cyfnod anodd hwn rydyn ni’n cydnabod ac yn deall y gallai pobl hŷn ac agored i niwed deimlo eu bod ar eu pen eu hunain, teimlo ofn a theimlo eu bod allan o’n cyrraedd ni. Mae ein swyddogion wedi bod allan yn ein cymunedau yn gwneud eu gorau glas i sicrhau bod pawb yn teimlo’n ddiogel.

    “Yn anffodus, hyd yn oed ar adegau fel hyn, bydd sgamwyr a throseddwyr eraill yn manteisio ar ein trigolion mwyaf agored i niwed.

    “Ein neges yw nad ydych chi ar eich pen eich hun. Gyda’n gilydd rydyn ni’n gweithio gyda’n partneriaid i sicrhau bod darpariaethau a mesurau ar waith i gefnogi ein cymuned gyfan.”

    Drwy rwydweithiau helaeth ei aelodau, bydd y grŵp yn gallu cyrraedd miloedd o gysylltiadau mewn cymunedau ledled Cymru, gan sicrhau eu bod yn cael yr wybodaeth, y canllawiau a’r adnoddau diweddaraf am gadw pobl yn ddiogel a rhannu’r wybodaeth honno, ynghyd â gwybodaeth am y cymorth a’r gefnogaeth sydd ar gael, a fydd yn hanfodol wrth i ni symud ymlaen yn ystod y cyfnod anodd hwn.

    Os oes angen cymorth a chefnogaeth ar unrhyw bobl hŷn, neu os oes unrhyw un yn poeni y gallai person hŷn fod mewn perygl, mae croeso i chi gysylltu ag Hourglass Cymru (Action on Elder Abuse Cymru o’r blaen) ar 0808 808 8141 (i gael help y tu allan i oriau swyddfa, dylai pobl gysylltu â'r Llinell Gymorth Di-ofn Fyw 24 awr ar 0808 80 10 800). Os oes risg o niwed difrifol ar fin digwydd, dylid cysylltu â’r heddlu yn ddi-oed drwy ffonio 999. Mae’r heddlu’n dal i ymateb i alwadau brys. Os oes angen help ar rywun ond nad oes modd iddyn nhw ddweud hynny, dylen nhw ffonio 999 ac wedyn 55.


    Mae’r sefydliadau canlynol yn aelodau o’r grŵp:

    Comisiynydd Pobl Hŷn Cymru Age Cymru CGGC Cymorth i Ferched Cymru Dewis Choice Get Safe Online Gwarchod y Gymdogaeth Gwasanaethau Rheoleiddio a Rennir Heddlu De Cymru Heddlu Dyfed-Powys Heddlu Gogledd Cymru Heddlu Gwent Hourglass Cymru (Action on Elder Abuse Cymru o’r blaen) Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru Llywodraeth Cymru Rhwydwaith Diogelu GIG Cymru Safonau Masnach (cynrychiolydd Cymru) Tîm Sgamiau Safonau Masnach Cenedlaethol Uned Atal Trais Cymru Gyfan Y Bwrdd Diogelu Annibynnol Cenedlaethol

    You’re not alone. We’re here for you and we can help and support you.

    22 April

    Organisations working to safeguard and protect people who experience abuse or are the victims of crime have joined forces to ensure that older people can get the support they need to keep them safe and protected during this difficult time.

    And they have a simple message for older people in Wales who may be at risk: You’re not alone. We’re here for you and we can help and support you.

    Members of the newly-established action group are working together to make sure that older people at risk of harm have the information they need about where they can go for help, and are aware that support services are still available despite the current disruption.

    They are also working to raise awareness amongst the wider public about the role we can all play in helping to protect older people.

    The group has come together as the coronavirus and subsequent lockdown has resulted in some older people in Wales potentially being at greater risk of domestic (or other forms of) abuse, neglect or of being targeted by criminals.

    Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:

    “Whilst we’ve seen the very best of our communities over the past few weeks, with so much action underway to help and support older people, it’s crucial that we recognise that for many the past few weeks will have been incredibly difficult. Many older people will have felt frightened and alone.

    “That’s why we’ve come together – to let older people know that they are not alone, that we’re here and we can help and support them.”

    Director of Hourglass Cymru (formerly Action on Elder Abuse Cymru), Rachael Nicholson, said:

    “Our research has shown some shocking attitudes towards older people and beliefs about what constitutes abuse, something that should concern us all at a time when ongoing lockdown measures may result in older victims becoming trapped in an environment where tensions are exacerbated and abuse becomes more likely, and where the lack of normal social contact will increase the risk of neglect.

    “There are older people living by themselves who are having to self-isolate, resulting in increased loneliness, social isolation and deteriorating mental well-being. These factors significantly increase their chances of being harmed, abused or exploited, in addition to their negative health impacts. We are concerned that older people are finding it difficult to access support, protection and other key services or do not realise that support exists for them.

    “The Hourglass Cymru helpline is available to anyone concerned about or affected by the increased risk of abuse and neglect of older people at this challenging time, whether that abuse is perpetrated by loved ones, paid professionals or strangers.”

    A spokesperson for Police Forces in Wales said:

    “We recognise and understand that during this difficult time, the vulnerable and older people may feel isolated, frightened and out of reach. Our officers have been out in our communities doing their very best to make sure that everyone feels safe.

    “Sadly, even in times like these, scammers and other criminals will look to take advantage of our most vulnerable residents.

    “Our message is you are not alone. Together we are working with our partners to ensure that provisions and measures are in place to support our whole community.”

    Through the extensive networks of its members, the group will be able to reach thousands of contacts in communities throughout Wales, ensuring they have, and can share more widely, the latest information, guidance and resources about keeping older people safe, as well as information about help and support available, which will be crucial as we move forward together during this difficult time.

    Older people who need help and support, or those who are concerned that an older person may be at risk can contact Hourglass Cymru (formerly Action on Elder Abuse Cymru) on 0808 808 8141 (for help outside of office hours, people should contact the 24 hour Live Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800). If there is a risk of imminent serious harm, the police should be contacted without delay by dialling 999. The police are still responding to emergency calls. If someone needs silent help, they should call 999 followed by 55.


    Group membership comprises the following organisations:


    Older People's Commissioner for Wales

    Age Cymru

    All-Wales Violence Prevention Unit

    Dewis Choice

    Dyfed Powys Police

    Get Safe Online

    Gwent Police

    Hourglass Cymru (Formerly Action on Elder Abuse Cymru)

    National Independent Safeguarding Board

    National Trading Standards Scams Team

    Neighbourhood Watch

    NHS Safeguarding Network

    North Wales Police

    Public Health Wales

    Shared Regulatory Services

    South Wales Police

    Trading Standards (Wales representative)


    Welsh Government

    Welsh Women’s Aid

    Apr 28, 2020

    DATGANIAD/STATEMENT: Cartrefi Gofal / Care Homes

    Care Homes

    Read more

    Datganiad: Yr wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am gamau Llywodraeth Cymru i ddiogelu pobl hŷn sy’n byw mewn cartrefi gofal

    Dywedodd Heléna Herklots CBE, Comisiynydd Pobl Hŷn Cymru:

    “Yn dilyn fy ngalwadau am ragor o weithredu i ddiogelu pobl hŷn sy’n byw mewn cartrefi gofal a gweithwyr gofal, ac er mwyn atal lledaeniad Covid-19 mewn cartrefi gofal, rwyf yn croesawu’r ffaith bod Llywodraeth Cymru wedi darparu rhagor o fanylion ynghylch y gwaith y bydd yn ei wneud i fynd i'r afael â´r pryderon roeddwn wedi’u codi, yn enwedig mewn perthynas â phrofi preswylwyr a staff.

    “Fodd bynnag, mae dal angen rhagor o wybodaeth ar draws nifer o feysydd er mwyn cael sicrwydd y bydd yr holl gamau roeddwn wedi gofyn amdanynt yn cael eu rhoi ar waith yn gyflym ac yn effeithiol.

    “Nid wyf chwaith eto yn gwbl dawel fy meddwl bod digon o waith yn cael ei wneud i gofnodi ac i gyhoeddi data ystyrlon ynghylch y niferoedd sydd wedi cael eu heintio a’r nifer sydd wedi colli eu bywydau mewn cartrefi gofal. Mae hyn yn hollbwysig er mwyn bod yn fwy tryloyw ac er mwyn cael darlun llawn o effaith y coronafeirws, ac er mwyn cyfrannu at benderfyniadau ynghylch ble a sut dylid dyrannu adnoddau.

    “Rwyf hefyd yn dal yn poeni nad yw Llywodraeth Cymru wedi ymrwymo eto i gyhoeddi cynllun gweithredu penodol i ddatgan yn glir i’r cyhoedd beth sy’n cael ei wneud, a beth arall mae angen ei wneud, a phryd caiff hyn ei wneud. Byddai hyn yn ein galluogi i ddal Llywodraeth Cymru a Chyrff Cyhoeddus i gyfrif am yr hyn maen nhw’n ei wneud mewn ffordd adeiladol a chyfrifol.

    “Heb gyhoeddi’r cynllun gweithredu hwn, bydd pobl hŷn, eu teuluoedd, a’r cyhoedd yn gyffredinol, yn dal i boeni am yr hyn sy’n digwydd mewn cartrefi gofal. Bydd cwestiynau’n siŵr o barhau i gael eu gofyn ynghylch a yw Llywodraeth Cymru yn cymryd y camau sydd eu hangen, ac a oes digon yn cael ei wneud i ddiogelu ac i gefnogi pawb sy’n byw ac yn gweithio mewn cartrefi gofal.”


    Statement: Update on calls for Welsh Government action to protect older people living in care homes

    Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:

    “Following my calls for more action to protect older people living in care homes and care workers, and prevent the spread of Covid-19 in care homes, I welcome that the Welsh Government has provided some further details of the work it will undertake to address the concerns I have raised, particularly with regard to testing of residents and staff.

    “However, further detail is still required across a number of areas to provide assurance that all of the action I have called for will be delivered quickly and effectively.

    “I am also not yet fully assured that sufficient action is being taken to capture and publish meaningful data on the levels of infection and number of deaths in care homes, which is crucial for greater transparency and to paint a full picture of the impact of coronavirus, and to inform decisions about where and how resources should be allocated.

    “I also remain concerned that the Welsh Government is yet to commit to publishing a specific action plan to clearly set out for the public what is being done, and what more needs to be done, and when this action will be delivered. This would allow us to constructively and responsibly hold the Welsh Government and Public Bodies to account for what they are doing.

    “Without this published action plan, older people, their families and the wider public will continue to be anxious about what is happening in care homes. Questions will no doubt continue to be asked about whether the Welsh Government is taking the action that is needed, and whether enough is being done to protect and support all those who live and work in care homes.”


    Apr 29, 2020

    Coronavirus useful contact numbers


    Read more
    USEFUL CONTACT DETAILS  HEALTH INFORMATION  Public Health Wales: Detailed advice is also available from Public Health Wales https://phw.nhs.wales/.  NHS Wales: The NHS online symptom checker is available at: https://www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/SelfAssessments/symptomcheckers/?ScName=CoronaVirusCOVID19&SCTId=175  Welsh Government https://gov.wales/coronavirus COMMUNITY SUPPORT Vale Council: https://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/press_and_communications/latest_news/2020/March/Coronavirus-Updates-2020.aspx Vale foodbank: Please contact info@vale.foodbank.org.uk  or visit https://vale.foodbank.org.uk/. You can also follow the Vale Foodbank on Twitter and Facebook. Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale: Community Support Line - 02920 683600 Local office phone number - 01446 747653 Domestic Violence: Live Fear Free - 0808 801 0800 Atal Y Fro – 01446 744755 ADVICE SERVICES Citizens Advice: Telephone: Contact Advicelink Cymru service on 0344 477 2020. Advisers are available 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday. Universal Credit: For help to make a Universal Credit claim, contact our free national Help To Claim phone service on 0800 024 1220. Advisers are available 8am – 6pm, Monday – Friday. Consumer Advice: Contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0345 404 0506 To speak with an adviser in Welsh, call 0345 404 0505 Advisers are available 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday Online: For online help, to include access to email and webchat services, please visit our website at www.adviceguide.org.uk Citizens Advice Cymru: provide a wide range of advice about benefit rights and debt management etc  https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales/benefits/. UK Government Universal Credit advice: www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus Shelter Cymru https://sheltercymru.org.uk/news/ 0800 495 495 Travel advice: Transport for Wales Coronavirus travel advice https://tfwrail.wales/covid-19 Foreign Office travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice Advice for people who have booked tickets to travel abroad: https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak Utilities: Gas Leak - 0800 11 999 Power Cut - 0800 678 3105 Dwr Cymru - 0800 085 3968 BUSINESSES AND EMPLOYMENT Business Wales: www.businesswales.gov.wales HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has a dedicated helpline for businesses concerned about being able to pay tax due to COVID-19: 0800 0159 559. Acas provides workplace advice for employers and employees. It has a page on Coronavirus that is being updated daily https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus and provides a helpline: 0300 123 1100. Wales TUC – the Wales TUC are supporting their members as are individual unions  https://www.tuc.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-wales VOLUNTEERING Glamorgan Voluntary Services: https://www.gvs.wales/contact-us 01446 741706 enquiries@gvs.wales WCVA: https://wcva.cymru/# MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING Mind: Advice on mental health and Coronavirus https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/ Mind in the Vale – 01446 730792 or  admin@mindinthevale.org.uk Samaritans: 116 123 BBC tips on looking after your mental health: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51873799
    May 5, 2020

    Prescription volunteers

    Prescription collection.

    Read more
    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Minister has today announced new arrangements to ensure people who are shielding or self-isolating can continue to get their prescription medicines in partnership with the National Pharmacy Association, Wales’ third sector organisations and Royal Mail. https://gov.wales/new-volunteer-prescription-delivery-scheme-support-those-shielding-or-self-isolating
    May 5, 2020

    Accessing cash safely

    Accessing cash safely – advice for older people during Covid 19

    Read more

    Accessing cash safely – advice for older people during Covid 19

    The older people’s charity Age Cymru says that one of the many concerns currently facing older people is being able to access cash and pay for everyday goods and services while they follow government advice and stay at home.


    The charity, which is communicating with hundreds of older people every day through its call-in-and-chat service for the isolated over 70s as well as its usual Advice services, has issued a brief statement to support older people.

    Age Cymru’s chief executive, Victoria Lloyd explains: “Many older people have become used to accessing their pension or benefits from their local post office or high street bank, enabling them to draw down cash to pay for many everyday items such as food and clothes, in addition to services like window cleaning and gardening.

    “However, in line with current government advice, older people are currently staying home to help keep themselves safe.  This means that they may have to consider adopting other ways to access their cash or to pay for goods and services. And in doing so they must also make sure that, as far as possible, they protect themselves from criminals trying to take advantage of older people isolating themselves.

    “Most major post offices and banks are still open for business, so it might be a good idea to give them a call first to discuss which available methods of accessing cash best suit your needs.”

    The following briefing note provides guidance on the different ways you can access cash safely to pay for goods and services.

    Post Offices

    •        If you hold Post Office Card Account, you may nominate a trusted individual to become your Permanent Agent and withdraw cash on your behalf using a second card with its own PIN number.

    •        The Payout Now service enables a bank to send you a voucher by email, text or post, which you can then share with a trusted individual to withdraw cash on your behalf.

    •        The Fast PACE service allows an account holder to nominate someone to cash one of their cheques on their behalf. The person going to cash the cheque will also need to show their ID when they arrive at the Post Office.


    •        You can ask your bank if you can set up a third-party mandate. This allows you to nominate a trusted person to access your account, though you may be able to limit what the third party can do, for example, only having the ability to access information, withdraw restricted funds, or check balances.

    •        Money Transfers are an easy way to transfer money from your account to another person’s account, such as your volunteer shopper. You may arrange the transfer either by telephone or via online banking. You’ll need the recipient’s name, the name of their bank, their six-digit sort code and eight-digit account number and the exact amount to be transferred.

    •        Bank cheques can be used to pay for small services such as gardening but may not be convenient to reimburse volunteer shoppers as they could take several days to clear and thereby leave them out of pocket.

    Other methods of paying for goods and services

    •        Pre-paid cards work in a similar way to mobile telephone top-up cards whereby the card can be topped up at Post Offices, shops displaying the PayPoint sign, or sometimes over the telephone or online. Some pre-paid cards let you ask for a second card to give to a friend, family member or someone else you trust. This card will have its own unique PIN number so that someone helping you with shopping can pay for your goods without having any effect on their own finances. However, there are a number of drawbacks, as pre-paid cards can incur charges such as transaction fees or monthly management fees.

    •        Store gift vouchers can often be ordered from most major retailers over the telephone, or online. You may pass them on to friends, family or a trusted volunteer shopper. However, some retailers may not allow you to spend small balances that remain on the gift voucher so you may have to spend the full amount in one go.

    Make yourself more resilient to financial scams

    •        Never hand over your cash, cards or bank details, particularly to someone you don’t know. There are many safer ways to pay for your goods.

    •        Be wary of strangers asking for money before getting your shopping. Instead, stick to people you know, or recognisable charities where you can check to see if they are operating voluntary shopping services in your area.

    •        Before making a payment for goods check that the amount you’re being charged tallies with the receipt. You can ask the volunteer to leave the receipt in the shopping bag.

    •        To help keep you safe, ask the shopper to leave the goods at the doorstep and move at least two metres away before you open the door.  Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the shopping.

    For more information about the best ways to access cash safely, call Age Cymru Advice on 08000 223 444 or visit www.agecymru.org.uk/advice


    Notes to Editors

    1.           Age Cymru is the national charity for older people in Wales

    2.           We are the force combining Age Concern Cymru and Help the Aged in Wales

    3.           We work with local Age Cymru Partners across Wales to improve life for older people

    4.           Age Cymru is a registered charity 1128436

    5.           Company limited by guarantee and registered by in England and Wales 6837284

    6.           Age Cymru is funded by donations from the public, corporate partners, our trading enterprises and the Welsh                                Government

    May 7, 2020

    Housing advice & support

    During this unprecedented time, many people within your community might be worried about paying their rent or mortgage, as well as other housing costs such as utility bills and council tax. Some will also be worried about being evicted or their home being repossessed due to rising debts caused by unemployment or inability to work during this coronavirus outbreak. We wanted you to know that we are still here to help people now and further down the line.

    Read more

    In your capacity as a local councillor in Wales, if you have platforms such as a newsletter or Facebook page, we’re asking you to share Shelter Cymru’s dedicated Coronavirus housing advice page or click on any of the icon options below to share with your networks.

    The guidance and advice is changing quickly, so check back regularly for updates.

    Please let people know about our services if you come into contact with anyone who is worried about their housing situation.

    Shelter Cymru is here to give advice and assistance during these difficult times and beyond when this pandemic is over - remember it’s never too early or too late to get advice.

    Contact the Shelter Cymru Live Freephone helpline on 08000 495 495 

    We also have a web chat facility and an extensive help online section on our website. 

    Stay safe, we are here to help you through these difficult times.

    If you are able to donate at this time, please help us to answer as many peoples’ calls as we can.

    Cyngor a chefnogaeth tai i bobl yng Nghymru

    Annwyl Gynghorydd,

    Yn ystod yr adeg digynsail hwn, mae’n debyg bod nifer o bobl yn eich cymdeithas sy’n poeni am dalu eu rhent neu forgais, ynghyd â chostau eraill tai megis biliau cyfleustodau a threth cyngor. Bydd yna hefyd rhai sy’n poeni am gael eu dadgartrefu neu am y posibilrwydd o’u cartref yn cael ei adfeddiannu yn dilyn cynnydd mewn dyledion wedi’u hachosi gan ddiweithdra neu anallu i weithio yn ystod yr achosion o Coronafeirws. Rydym am adael i chi wybod ein bod ni dal i fod yma i helpu’r bobl hyn nawr ac yn y dyfodol.

    Yn rhinwedd eich swydd fel cynghorydd lleol yng Nghymru, gofynnwn i chi rhannu ein tudalen Cyngor tai Coronafeirws i unrhyw lwyfannau sydd gennych megis cylchlythyron neu dudalen Facebook neu cliciwch ar unrhyw un o’r opsiynau eicon isod i’w rhannu gyda’ch rhwydweithiau.

    Mae'r arweiniad a'r cyngor yn newid yn gyflym, felly gwiriwch ein gwybodaeth yn rheolaidd am ddiweddariadau.

    Byddwn yn ddiolchgar os allwch rhoi gwybod am ein gwasanaethau i unrhyw un rydych yn dod ar eu traws sy’n poeni am eu sefyllfa dai.

    Mae Shelter Cymru yma i roi cyngor a chymorth yn ystod yr amseroedd anodd hyn a thu hwnt i derfyn y pandemig - cofiwch nad yw hi byth yn rhy gynnar nac yn rhy hwyr i gael cyngor. Cysylltwch am ddim â llinell gymorth Rhadffôn Shelter Cymru Fyw ar 08000 495 495 Mae gennym hefyd gyfleuster sgwrsio ar y we ac adran Cymorth Ar-lein helaeth ar ein gwefan.

    Cadwch yn ddiogel, rydyn ni yma i'ch helpu chi trwy'r amseroedd anodd hyn.

    Os gallwch chi gyfrannu ar yr adeg hon, helpwch ni i ateb cymaint o alwadau pobl ag y gallwn.

    May 11, 2020

    Third Sector funding opportunities in light of the COVID-19 crisis - Funding News 07/05/20

    This is a trying time for so many third sector organisations, with many facing challenges around service delivery and a loss of income. In response, GVS has compiled a list of funding resources that are available during this period. You will find the list attached in pdf format – we hope you find it useful.

    Read more

    Funding search

    Please be aware that there are other funding bodies that continue to offer grants. If you would like us to conduct a funding search on your behalf, please complete an online funding request: /support-for-groups/funding-for-groups/funding-search-enquiry

    COVID 19 Impact Survey

    If you haven't done so already, we'd be very grateful if you would take 2 minutes to fill in our short survey on how your organisation has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The data acquired from this helps to give us a more accurate picture of how our sector has been impacted in the Vale. The survey can be accessed here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NCN3W6D

      GVS - Covid-19 - Funding update (7th May 2020)
    May 13, 2020

    Ymgysylltu gyda grwpiau pobl hŷn / Engagement with older people's groups

    The Commissioner wants to hear from older people in your community about their experiences of lockdown and the impact the virus is having on their lives. This will help to guide and shape our work as we move forward into the next phase, whatever that looks like, and will enable Heléna to share older people’s experiences and concerns with the Welsh Government.  

    Read more

    Annwyl gyfaill, 

    Gobeithio eich bod yn cadw’n iach ac yn ddiogel. 

    Mae’r Comisiynydd eisiau clywed gan bobl hŷn yn eich cymuned am eu profiadau o’r cyfyngiadau symud a’r effaith mae’r feirws yn cael ar eu bywydau 

    Bydd hyn yn helpu i arwain a siapio ein gwaith wrth i ni symud ymlaen i’r cam nesafbeth bynnag fydd hwnnw, a bydd yn galluogi Heléna i rannu profiadau a phryderon pobl hŷn â Llywodraeth Cymru.


    Mae ar Heléna eisiau clywed am y math o broblemauanawsterau neu rwystrau yr ydych yn ymwybodol ohonynt yn ogystal a’r pethau da sydd wedi gwneud gwahaniaeth cadarnhaol yn eich cymuned.   

    Byddem yn falch iawn o’r cyfle i glywed gennych chi fel cynrychiolydd o’ch Fforwm 50+.


    Rydym yn bwriadu cynnal y cyfarfodydd hyn ar-lein trwy Zoom trwy eich cyfrifiadur neu ar eich ffôn. Byddwn yn rhoi’r cyfarwyddiadau llawn ynghylch sut mae ymuno â’r cyfarfod yn nes at y dyddiad 

    Os hoffech chi gymryd rhan llenwch y pôl doodle yma (https://doodle.com/poll/hg44an8wufy3byfm) i roi gwybod i ni pryd fyddwch chi ar gael

    Byddwn yn trefnu’r cyfarfod ar gyfer y dyddiad/amser sydd fwyaf cyfleus i’r mwyafrif.

    Gobeithio byddwch chi’n gallu ymuno â niOs na fydd y dyddiad/amser yn hwylus i chi, gallwn eich sicrhau ein bod yn bwriadu cynnal rhagor o 

    gyfarfodydd yn y dyfodol er mwyn i ni gael trafodaethau pellach gyda’r rheini na fyddant yn gallu cymryd rhan y tro hwn. 

    Cofion gorau 


    Dear friend, 

    I hope this finds you safe and well. 

    The Commissioner wants to hear from older people in your community about their experiences of lockdown and the impact the virus is having on their lives.

    This will help to guide and shape our work as we move forward into the next phase, whatever that looks like, and will enable Heléna to share older people’s experiences and concerns with the Welsh Government.  


    Heléna would like to hear about the kinds of issues, difficulties or barriers you are aware of as well as the good things that have made a positive difference in your community.

    We’d really welcome the opportunity to hear from you as a representative from your 50+ Forum.

    We’re planning to hold these meetings online via Zoom, which you can access using your computer or by calling in with your phone. We’ll provide full instructions on how to join the meeting nearer the date.  

    If you’d like to participate please could you complete the doodle poll here (https://doodle.com/poll/hg44an8wufy3byfm) to let us know your availability. We will arrange the meeting for the date/time that is most convenient for the majority.

    We do hope that you can join us. Should the date/time decided upon not be convenient for you, please rest assured that we intend to hold further meetings at a later date so we can have further discussions with those not able to attend this time. 

    Best wishes 

    Heneiddio yn Dda / Ageing Well

    Comisiynydd Pobl Hŷn Cymru / Older People’s Commissioner for Wales

    Adeiladau Cambrian / Cambrian Buildings Sgwâr Mount Stuart / Mount Stuart Square Caerdydd / Cardiff, CF10 5FL


    Rydym yn croesawu derbyn gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg. Byddwn yn ateb gohebiaeth a dderbynnir yn Gymraeg yn Gymraeg ac ni fydd gohebu yn Gymraeg yn arwain at oedi // We welcome receiving correspondence in Welsh, we will respond to correspondence in Welsh and corresponding in Welsh will not lead to delay

    Ffôn / Tel: 029 2044 5030

    Rydym yn croesawu galwadau yn Gymraeg // We welcome calls in Welsh

    May 18, 2020

    Which? Article on Facemasks

    Coronavirus: where to buy face masks and how to make your own
    It does not need membership to open the article.

    May 21, 2020

    Beware of contact tracing text scams

    Scammers pretending to be coronavirus contact tracers are sending text messages to warn people they've been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and need to click a link to learn more. https://www.aol.com/article/news/2020/05/21/beware-of-covid-19-contact-tracing-text-scams-authorities-warn/24376137/

    May 23, 2020

    Our full tribute to Phyllis Preece

    Everyone at Age Cymru, from current and former staff, to our trustees and supporters across Wales were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Phyllis Preece who died on 1 May 2020, arguably one of Wales’ most prominent and fierce campaigners for older people.

    Read more It hasn’t gone un-noticed that Phyllis passed away on 1 May, the internationally recognised day that celebrates the contributions and rights of workers – an issue that was central to Phyllis’ core beliefs throughout her life. Campaigning for others had always been important for Phyllis, particularly for those who didn’t have much, and as a young woman she became a shop steward in the Freeman’s cigar factory in Cardiff. She went on to become a well-known figure in the Welsh trade union movement and, at a time when women were not so visible, she would not baulk at walking into a room full of men and tell them exactly what she thought. Often with the aid of very blunt language. Phyllis’ zest for campaigning did not end with her retirement, far from it. Instead she became very active in the retired trades union movement chairing committees, workshops and numerous conferences for National Pensioners Convention Wales, Pensioners Forum Wales and the Cymru Older People’s Alliance to name but a few. Such was Phyllis’ reputation that the Welsh Government would often invite her to sit on advisory panels. So it would not be an exaggeration to say that Phyllis has contributed to much of the current Welsh Government thinking and policy on ageing matters. Phyllis was consistent in her call to action across a range of issues. The rights of women, both in the workplace and in retirement, also became an important topic for Phyllis. Operating in the traditionally male dominated world of trade unions, Phyllis showed by example what a woman could achieve, and encouraged others to follow her lead. Few argued against her approach. In recent years Phyllis became heavily involved in many of the day to day activities of Age Cymru and its predecessor charities, often fronting its communication and fundraising campaigns. Regardless of the weather, Phyllis liked nothing better than joining her friends from Age Cymru with bucket collections on international days in Cardiff, revelling in good-humoured banter with inebriated rugby fans! Whether it was highlighting our Spread the Warmth campaign encouraging older people to keep warm and safe during the Winter months, or discussing the ways in which older people could tackle loneliness or isolation, nothing fazed Phyllis. And none of us will forget the time she got up on stage at an Age Cymru Gala Dinner and took the mic off Jason Mohammed to tell the audience exactly why they needed to support our work! Phyllis was a great networker, and on first name terms with a number of senior politicians and civil servants, including First Ministers. Phyllis would not hesitate to support Age Cymru by sharing her views with these key decision makers to help progress the charity’s work. But Phyllis wasn’t just a key ally of Age Cymru and older people. She also cared about individuals and would often ask if we and our families were safe and well. To say we will miss Phyllis is a huge understatement. We will miss her knowledge, experience, drive and honesty. But most of all we will miss a very good friend.
    May 24, 2020

    Looking for volunteers for a new programme to help loneliness and isolation.

    Please find attached the volunteer role description for the Age Cymru Friend in Need befriending scheme. https://www.ageuk.org.uk/cymru/get-involved/friend-in-need/

    May 23, 2020

    Ministerial Advisory Forum on Ageing (MAFA) - Information and Updates

    Ministerial Advisory Forum on Ageing (MAFA) - Information and Updates

    Read more
    1.    Written Statement by the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services
    The Deputy Minister has today published a Written Statement on “Older People’s Rights and Coronavirus”.  A link to the statement can be found here:
    2.    Tribute to Phyllis Preece, National Pensioners Convention Wales
    Vicki Lloyd, Chair of MAFA and Chief Executive of Age Cymru, informed everyone about the sad news of Phyllis’ passing at our last meeting.  Age Cymru have paid tribute to Phyllis and the article can be found here:
    3.    Request for research partners from MAFA to help with project on COVID-19 and social exclusion amongst older adults
    Dr Martin Hyde, member of MAFA and representative for the Centre for Innovative Ageing at Swansea University is asking for your help in a research project that he will be involved with.
    There is already quite a lot of research being conducted on the impact of coronavirus; some of which includes older adults as part of the general population sample.  However, the problem with this is that they almost exclusively rely on online surveys. This means that that they will not capture the experiences of people who don't use the Internet.  Therefore, the Centre are proposing to do a more focused study using telephone interviews to try to reach out to people who may be at risk of social exclusion. They are particularly interested in linking up with groups who work with older adults who are in the following groups: 1) living in deprived areas, 2) on reduced means, 3) from minority ethnic backgrounds, 4) in poorer health, and 5) at risk of loneliness.
    The Centre is looking for research partners to help them with this piece of work.  If you would like to get more information or become involved, please let me know and I will pass your details to Martin so that he can get in  touch directly.
    4.    Useful documents / information related to Covid-19:
    I have attached some useful documents and information which you may like to disseminate amongst your contacts.  I have also included a word document that contains some of the policies that supermarkets have in place to support unpaid carers and those they care for.
    5.    Have your say; the kind of Wales we all want post Covid-19:
    In Plenary on the 6th May, the Counsel General said that “Supporting the most vulnerable and ensuring that no-one is left behind will be at the heart of how we seek to emerge from the economic impacts of COVID-19.  In our discussion of this, there was a recognition that there needs to be an open public debate on the kind of Wales that we all want; a recognition that there has been a shift in the value people place on different sectors of the economy, with a renewed appreciation of the huge contribution of our key workers”.
    “It is of course equally important that we hear from people in Wales, and in the coming weeks I'll be convening a further series of virtual round-tables with experts from across Wales, who will bring their own expertise to the discussions. We'll also be hearing from our social partners and from stakeholders across Wales, and we're also encouraging submissions to be sent to futurewales@gov.wales, and the ideas are already coming in”.
    May 24, 2020

    DATGANIAD/STATEMENT: Protecting older people’s rights is crucial.

    Protecting older people’s rights is crucial

    Responding to BBC Wales Investigates: Testing Time in Care, the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:

    Read more

    “The situation we have seen in our care homes during the Covid-19 pandemic has been a tragedy, and I have concerns that older people’s rights may not have been sufficiently protected, in these settings and across health and social care more widely.

    “It’s crucial that these concerns, and the concerns raised by older people, their families and care home staff throughout Wales, are investigated and I believe that the Equality and Human Rights Commission would be best placed to examine and scrutinise the action taken by the Welsh Government, as part of a wider inquiry that looks at older people’s experiences and the action that has been taken across the UK.

    “The rights of older people must be at the heart of the action and decisions about what happens in our care homes and I hope that the Welsh Government would welcome external scrutiny from the EHRC, which will help to ensure that the rights of older people are protected, both now and in the future.”


    June 1st, 2020

    News Release: Connecting Wales’ older people during COVID-19

    News Release: Embargoed for 2 June 2020: Connecting Wales’ older people during COVID-19, Age Cymru to launch Friend In Need telephone friendship service

    Read more   Age Cymru is to launch the Friend In Need service to help tackle loneliness and isolation amongst the over 70s as a result of social distancing, self-isolation and shielding.   Older people will be able to connect with a trained and vetted Age Cymru volunteer for a free weekly friendship call. Funded by the Welsh Government, and with the support of Welsh Government WLGA and Volunteering Wales, the service will be launched on Monday 1 June 2020 to coincide with the start of Volunteering Week. The initiative, which is part of the Welsh Government’s commitment to make Wales a Compassionate nation, will also support friends or neighbours who are providing informal help to older people and others who are social distancing, self-isolating or shielding with activities such as shopping or collecting prescriptions, to access a range of online resources to support them and they’ll be able to sign up for updates and additional information. Since the start of the lockdown, the charity has made more than 10,000 calls to older people who are lonely and isolated due to the lock down and handled more than 3,000 enquiries to its advice line, so it knows only too well what are the main challenges and fears currently facing the over 70s. Denise Morris, Gwynedd: “The calls from Age Cymru help to pick me up whenever I am feeling low. And when I was going through a particularly bad patch their support and advice encouraged me to get the expert help that I needed.” George Rowles, Denbigh: “Regardless of the length of the call they remind me that I am not forgotten, which is important during these difficult times. It’s also nice just to have a chat.” Barbara Burt, Neath Port Talbot: “I’m so grateful for the phone calls, it definitely makes me feel less lonely. Every caller I’ve spoken to has been so lovely and we speak about everything from politics to holidays. If I didn’t receive these calls I would only have my dog to talk to, and he doesn’t have much conversation!” Jeff Evans, Vale of Glamorgan: I look forward to a chat, it has made my life easier as I live alone. The people that call are very easy to talk to, and pleasant. It has been an absolute boon! Thank you Age Cymru. Age Cymru’s chief executive, Victoria Lloyd says; “There are many older people living in our communities for whom feeling lonely or isolated is nothing new. Giving people the chance to connect, to share their concerns, to chat and to laugh with another human being can be a huge source of comfort.” The chief executive added; “Many people aged 75 or over do not use the internet so a telephone-based service is important to help keep them connected and feel less isolated” Julie Morgan, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “These are challenging times for us all, but especially for those older people who live on their own. It’s only natural to want to have contact with others; without it we can feel lonely and cut off. “I’m delighted that the Welsh Government has been able to provide funding for this crucial service. I am sure it will be make a big difference to the lives of all those who access it.” If you or somebody you know might benefit from the Friend in Need service, please contact Age Cymru advice for more information on 08000 223 444 or visit www.agecymru.org.uk/friend-in-need. If you wish to volunteer as telephone befriender for the Friend in Need service please register at Volunteering Wales: https://volunteering-wales.net/vk/volunteers/registration.htm How the Telephone Befriending Service will work 1/ Volunteers will register with Volunteering Wales 2/ The volunteers will be interviewed by telephone, and then asked to submit two references and forward a DBS check if they have one. 3/ Age Cymru will provide online training then match the volunteer with an older person for a 30 minute weekly telephone conversation. The charity will also provide on-going support to the volunteer.
    June 5, 2020

    Penarth art historian raises more than £800 for Age Cymru

    Penarth art historian raises more than £800 for Age Cymru An internationally renowned art historian, Stella Grace Lyons, has raised more than £800 for Age Cymru after holding on online arts lecture from her home in Penarth.

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    Penarth art historian raises more than £800 for Age Cymru
    An internationally renowned art historian, Stella Grace Lyons, has raised more than £800 for Age Cymru after holding on online arts lecture from her home in Penarth.
    Fittingly, the lecture focussed on the 20th Century artist Edward Hopper who is known for his work depicting isolation and loneliness, two areas of significant concern for the charity, especially now with many older people in Wales living under the very challenging circumstances of Covid 19.
    Such is the reputation of the art historian that more than a hundred people from across the world agreed to donate a fee in order to view the online lecture.
    Like many, Stella Grace Lyons, who is an accredited lecturer with The Arts Society, found her work and livelihood disappearing in March with the advent of the lockdown. Stella’s work ordinarily takes her across Britain and further afield to Europe and even Asia, where she shares her knowledge and enthusiasm for art with diverse audiences.
    Stella decided that if her audience were unable to get to her, she would try to reach them and within a matter of weeks Stella started streaming her talks online, bringing the world of art to people isolated in their homes.
    Stella said: “The paintings of American artist Edward Hopper are about alienation as most of his works feature solitary figures lost in thought and I’m sure that will resonate with many during the lockdown. I know from talking to my audiences that art really brings a lot of joy to people and I think it’s important, especially for older people who might be finding this particularly hard, to still take time to enjoy your interests. Now that I’ve found my feet again during the pandemic, I wanted to help others.”
    Age Cymru chief executive Victoria Lloyd said: “This is such a wonderful gesture by Stella and it has given everyone at Age Cymru a huge boost as our teams work tirelessly to support older people during these difficult times. The generous donation will help us to reach out to more people. And the fact that the artwork helped to highlight issues surrounding loneliness and isolation made the donation even more poignant.”
    Stella presents online art talks every Friday morning at 11.00 am (UK time). Her previous talks have explored the Dutch artist Vermeer, the Scottish designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the French painter Édouard Manet, amongst others. To find out more about her online Art History talks visit www.stellagracelyons.co.uk Ends.
    Notes to editors
    Stella Grace Lyons is a freelance Art History lecturer, speaker and writer accredited with The Arts Society. She has lectured across the UK, Ireland, Spain, Norway, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Malaysia and will soon embark on a lecturing tour in Australasia. Stella gained her BA in the History of Art with a 1st class in her dissertation from the University of Bristol (2007-2011), and her MA in History of Art from the University of Warwick. She spent a year studying Renaissance art in Italy at the British Institute of Florence, and three months studying Venetian art in Venice. In addition, she attended drawing classes at the prestigious Charles H. Cecil studios in Florence, a private atelier that follows a curriculum based on the leading ateliers of nineteenth century Paris.
    Stella runs her own Art History lectures and is a regular lecturer in the UK and Europe for The Arts Society, ACE Cultural Tours, Hebridean Island Cruises, Saga’s Art Appreciation Tours and the National Trust, amongst others. Stella is also a part-time lecturer for the University of South Wales. She has written about art for several publications and her article on Norwegian art was recently featured on the front cover of the Arts Society Magazine. In addition to her lecturing work, Stella works as an artist’s model for the internationally renowned figurative artist, Harry Holland. www.stellagracelyons.co.uk
    Notes to Editors
    1.      Age Cymru is the national charity for older people in Wales
    2.      We are the force combining Age Concern Cymru and Help the Aged in Wales
    3.      We work with local Age Cymru Partners across Wales to improve life for older people
    4.      Age Cymru is a registered charity 1128436
    5.   Company limited by guarantee and registered by in England and Wales 6837284
    6.   Age Cymru is funded by donations from the public, corporate partners, our trading enterprises and the Welsh Government
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