Chair Annual Statement 2019/2020

I’m delighted to share my 19/20 annual Chair statement for Garnsychan Partnership.

First and foremost my thanks, as always, must go to: Our volunteers, not only for their passion and commitment in providing a unique lifeline of friendship, but also for their support and enthusiasm in spreading the word about what we do and why we do it which brings so many new volunteers to help our cause. To our funders and supporters for their on-going belief in the benefits of what we do and for their awareness and appreciation of the profound impact we have on the lives of the residents in our ward and across Torfaen County. To our staff for their dedication and commitment and for always being prepared to go that “extra mile” for our community and our volunteers. And last, but not least, to the Trustees for their support and for their deep and lasting dedication to the charity and our beneficiaries. Our Charity have had our most effective 2019/20, we’ve delivered against our strategy and more and we’re building a positive future for our residents of the Abersychan, Garndiffaith Ward and the wider county of Torfaen. We are proud of being a successful growing Charity this year and of the important contributions we make to wider society. Garnsychan Partnership was awarded Best Community Support Non-Profit Organisation for South East Wales 2019. To which, I as Chair am extremely proud.

We have continued to launch new projects and services. In partnership with Torfaen CBC, Torfaen Play, Ty Nant Ddu, Noddfa, Craft works, Bron Afon, TVA, Abersychan School and others. We launched a variety of new groups, a youth club, parent and toddler sessions, cookery and growing sessions for the Real Lives Projects, Christmas Hamper Schemes, Homeless Bag Appeal, FareShare and much more. In doing so, and by making sure that we all work as hard as possible in maintaining our existing projects and services like Circulate Recycling, the largest and most successful reuse social enterprise across Torfaen, we were able to welcome more than 1,500 new beneficiaries during this year. Throughout the year we have been successful in further raising our profile in both national and local media to great effect and we have worked in cooperation with many new organisations to help us reach even more people who otherwise would be “off the radar” of any such help and support, even more so when COVID-19 hit us all. Covid-19 created the perfect storm for many charities like the Garnsychan Partnership and I am pleased to say that we didn’t shy away from it, we stepped up. Garnsychan Partnership adapted its front line projects and we became an essential hub providing key services to those most affected by this horrible virus. Our food parcel support, prescription delivery service in partnership with Abersychan Pharmacy and the friendly phone call service saw people who were affected by this terrible pandemic needing us more than ever. The Garnsychan Partnership has and is still playing a very small but important part in the battle of Coronavirus. It’s humbling to know that some of our support services are seeing a real impact on those elderly (especially) who are shielding or self isolating and the feedback and letters of thanks makes all of the hard work of the team worthwhile.

Many of our team had to be furloughed due to the closure of our Circulate Furniture Shop and others redeployed which meant the team were more of a skeleton workforce working at a high demand. I want to give thanks to Torfaen County Borough Council who have been instrumental in supporting us through such difficult times.

The COVID-19 emergency has created a massive challenge for us, like many other charities, access to funding is essential to ensure that we are able to continue our vital services. I am pleased to announce that together we have been successful this year in a variety of funding pots and continue to be active in sourcing funds that will see us support our community now and in the future.

Every day, Garnsychan Partnership are hearing from some of the thousands of people they have supported during Covid-19 who are frightened, scared and unsure how to interpret the advice from the Government and uncertain how much the information on social media can be trusted. Residents who have had treatment delayed are struggling to find out about their treatment options, people are struggling with isolation and anxiety while shielding at home all need trusted information and advice. So people have turned to us. We have never experienced anything like this before.

The unprecedented number of people turning to the Garnsychan Partnership means we can’t dial down our support anytime soon. And when the world returns to normal our residents will still need important organisations like us if not more. So while we are in a serious situation, and a tough new year beckons, we will continue to do much more of the same; COVID is not going to go anywhere, anytime soon, and neither is Garnsychan Partnership. As always, I look forward to continuing our working relationship with all our Partners, Funders and Volunteers and extend my thanks to you all for your continued support as we look forward to the year ahead. Finally, I enclose a table that provides a clear picture of how many people Garnsychan Partnership the many people we have supported this year and other key performance outputs.



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