Wales

Coronavirus: £24m fund launched to help co-ordinate volunteers

Food bank
Image caption Thousands of eople have been donating food and volunteering to help

A £24m fund to help the voluntary sector respond to the coronavirus has been launched by the Welsh Government.

It said the funds would help co-ordinate the thousands of people who have offered their time after reports of confusion about how to volunteer.

A further £15m will ensure people who cannot leave their home are able to get direct deliveries of food and other essential items to their door.

Deputy Minister Jane Hutt said people's response had been "truly humbling".

She said the Welsh Government had written to about 75,000 people identified as being at very high risk of contracting Covid-19, asking them to stay at home for 12 weeks.

Ms Hutt said people who wish to volunteer - even if they are self-isolating - should register their interest with Volunteering Wales.

Image caption Jane Hutt said all volunteers will be able to help people safely without putting others or themselves at risk

"The generosity and kindness shown by thousands of people across Wales who want to support their neighbours, NHS, and local services is truly humbling," Ms Hutt said.

"While there are strict rules in place which greatly restrict peoples' movement, we can still help others safely, without putting ourselves or others at risk."

Those who have been sent a letter and are "shielding" will be sent weekly boxes of essential food, Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths explained.

Earlier in the week, the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) had said UK-wide publicity about volunteering in England might have caused confusion for people in Wales.

Around 10,500 had visited its website on Thursday alone, said Ruth Marks, chief executive at the WCVA.

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