Main Contact: Karen Steele – Marketing and Partnerships Manager
Tel: 02920 683 604 / 07584 346 015

For immediate release: Wednesday 25th February 2021

Local Shopping Service described as a life jacket keeping
vulnerable older people afloat at such a worrying time

Lesley lives in Manchester, some 200 miles away from her father Michael in Barry. Early on in the lockdown, she says she was feeling ‘a bit panicky and helpless’ about how to support her father, who lives alone. ‘Dad is quite happy with his own company but not being able to get out once or twice a week to pick up groceries was a huge concern’.

Fortunately, Lesley was given contact details for local charity, Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale. ‘I sent an email and was contacted the next day and I was so relieved when they told me that they could provide shopping for my dad. It was a huge relief to me, I can’t tell you how much this has meant’.

Age Connects continues to support Lesley and Michael and Lesley very kindly gave us an update: ‘Nine months on and Age Connects continues to be making an enormous difference to both of our lives. Our shopping volunteer Angela is such a star. She does my dad’s weekly shop, which means he gets his essentials and I know that he won’t be forgotten.

‘It’s hard to put into words how much this service means. I asked my dad how he’d manage without Age Connects and he just said he’d be in “dire straits”. For me to know that there is someone I can trust and rely on each week is an enormous relief. It’s like having a life jacket, providing support and keeping us afloat at such a worrying time.’

Older people’s charity, Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale, has a long-standing commitment to supporting vulnerable and isolated older people living in our communities amidst the continued coronavirus pandemic.

Its Vale Shopping Service is an invaluable lifeline to so many older members of our local communities, particularly those with no family or friends to offer shopping support. As the pandemic and associated lockdown restrictions continue to be in place, Age Connects is urging those who need assistance with shopping to get in touch.

As Paula Hodge, Vale Shopping Service Project Manager explains: ‘The Vale Shopping Service has been a key part of our support for older members of our local communities since the pandemic first took hold. There is currently some perception that either the service is no longer available, or fully subscribed, but neither is the case. The service is still running and we currently have some capacity to take on additional clients who need this support. So, if you, a family member, friend or neighbour living in the Vale of Glamorgan needs assistance with shopping, please do get in touch.’

The service continues to provide vital support for many more clients such as David who says: ‘Early in the first lockdown I felt that the Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale shopping service would be useful for me. Living alone and with underlying health conditions, I knew that I had to take care not to expose myself to Covid-19. It was quite a frightening time and so the opportunity of joining up with Age Connects came at the perfect time for me.

‘The Age Connects shopping service through volunteer Richard, has been absolutely invaluable. The reassurance that knowing a regular shop is in hand is enormous but, above that, Richard has become a real friend. The service connects me with people in a way that is so very difficult for so many isolated older people at the moment.

‘I know that Age Connects have recently had to re-introduce a charge for the Vale Shopping Service which had been suspended during the first lockdown. I understand why this is necessary and personally feel more comfortable being able to pay for this invaluable service. I'd really urge anyone who needs help with shopping, or who would like to access the service for family members or friends to get in touch with Age Connects Cardiff & the Vale.’

Paula Hodge of Age Connects continues: ‘This service delivers so much more than shopping – it’s a lifeline. Our volunteers are friendly faces, keeping clients informed on events and services and providing peace of mind for family and friends who know that someone is looking out for their loved ones.’

To access this service, please call Paula on: 07507 416875 or visit

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Notes to the Editor:

Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale is the operating title of Age Concern Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale is an independent local charity that has been providing services for older people since 1974 and which reaches out to older people in the region, many of whom live alone, are physically frail and live below the poverty line.

A £5 fee per delivery currently applies for this service.