There are many, many people who volunteer for charities throughout Swansea and Wales.
These are often retired people who willingly give their time for worthy causes as they care deeply about those causes.
At the beginning of Covid when we went into lockdown, Swansea council accommodated rough sleepers and homeless in 2*BnBs.
Most, I’m sure were very grateful to have a roof over their heads at a difficult time and I’m pleased to say the council are still paying for many of these people to stay in the BnBs. Some councils throughout Britain stopped once the so-called pandemic ended. Which no doubt meant thrown back on the streets!
No food was provided in these BnBs, however, not even breakfast, despite the council paying the full price for bed and BREAKFAST.
Cafes and restaurants were closed and with no cooking facilities in the BnBs, residents were unable to access hot food nor in fact, in many cases, did not have enough money to buy anything to eat.
Several amazing charities in Swansea stepped up to provide a vital service to the homeless and vulnerable throughout lockdown by handing out a hot meal and drink. Some also provided clothes and toiletries.
These charities are still providing this much needed service as the council do not have the facilities or infrastructure to do so. Without these charities and their volunteers, many people would not eat at all.
During the last year, the council provided a few volunteers with a parking waiver so they could park during their volunteer shift without the fear of getting a ticket, or having to pay several pounds each time they volunteered.
Everyone was incredibly grateful as it took away the anxiety of looking for a suitable free to park spot which could be a long way from the charity or, as pensioners, having to find the parking fee.
Sadly the parking services manager in the council has decided they have done enough for these volunteers and declined to continue providing the waivers. He says:
“If we start issuing waivers to volunteers we would have to extend this arrangement and allow all charities the same courtesy, which is unreasonable and not the purpose of the waiver system”.
So it’s unreasonable to assist volunteers who are providing a vital service to the homeless and vulnerable in Swansea? Many of whom are still in 2* BnBs with no food provided over 2 years later. Many of whom are again sleeping rough as there is no adequate accommodation. Many of whom have mental health issues or other problems with no support.
Except for charities and their volunteers.