Arfon AM Siân Gwenllian is calling on the Welsh Government to protect funds for the Cefnogi Pobl (Supporting People) programme so that vulnerable people in Arfon can continue to be supported.
The Assembly Member has been in discussion with a number of organisations in Arfon including Gisda and Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd. They shared with her their concerns regarding possible cuts that could come with the new budget being discussed by Welsh Government at the moment.
Said Siân Gwenllian:
“The Cefnogi Pobol (Supporting People) programme helps about 60,000 people. The money goes towards services in housing including hostels for the homeless and for those who have suffered domestic violence; housing and support projects and support when needed for people in their own homes. ”
Said Siân Tomos, Chief Executive of Gisda,
“We were very pleased to be able to discuss our concerns with Siân Gwenllian. We know that she has a detailed understanding of this area as an ex-member of our Board.
The people who benefit from this programme include older people, vulnerable young people, those leaving care, families who are escaping domestic violence, those with mental health issues, people with learning difficulties and those with substance abuse problems as well as many others.”
Said Siân Gwenllian:
“Plaid Cymru is doing its upmost to put pressure on the Welsh Government not to cut the Cefnogi Pobl grants. I’m very aware of the excellent work done by Gisda in Arfon through the grants because I’m in constant contact with organisations like GISDA, who would be unable to offer their varied and far-reaching services without this money.
“In my constituency Cartrefi Cymunedol Gwynedd have three Cefnogi Pobol contracts paying for 14 jobs, with the people in those jobs working as wardens looking after elderly people and helping them remain independent for longer and as tenant support officers meaning that vulnerable tenants receive help with independent living and with the acquirement of basic equipment for their home. ”
These services reduce the cost to public services including Health, Social Care and Homelessness Services. Research shows that every £1 invested through the Cefnogi Pobl scheme is worth £2.30 to other services as it reduces the need for emergency interventions from the hospital and local health services, avoids the need for fulltime services and fulltime care by providing constant low level service, supports parents and families in order to reduce the risk of safe-guarding and reducing the strain on children’s services. And by reducing homelessness of course.
In a recent study of a woman from Caernarfon shows that a comparatively small spend of £1500 from the Cefnogi Pobl fund gave social benefit to the tune of £36,000 by improving her general health and wellbeing and giving her greater control over her life.
During the last few years the array of services made possible by Cefnogi Pobl have faced cuts and the service providers have worked hard to find as many savings as possible. Any further cuts will mean that far fewer vulnerable people will get access to housing and assistance services as and when they need them, despite the increase in need and the complex nature of those needs.