A VITAL charity that supports elderly people has expanded its community volunteer programme thanks to a generous donation given in a will.

Local charity Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale has used a £65,000 legacy donation to expand its vital Community Support Project taking its number of volunteers from 286 to 562. 

The single donation was left to Age Connects in the will of a former client who the charity supported through its Home First Service and Community Volunteer Support in the last years of her life.

The generous bequest is now being used to directly fund its Community Support Project after previous funding was lost and the programme was in danger of cancellation.  

The donation has supported the project for the last two years, allowing volunteers to provide elderly residents of the community with friendship and practical help, giving them extra support to help stay independent.

The additional funds proved vital during the height of the pandemic allowing Age Connects to more than double the number of volunteers it had in 2020 to 562.

The funding has now enabled the charity to sustain a volunteer workforce of 276 across Cardiff and the Vale.  

Age Connects recently received a legacy donation of £1,000 from a client who regularly visited their Ageing Well Café in Barry.

The money will be reinvested into the facility to ensure the service continues to provide a safe, social space for vulnerable people in the area.  

Jeff Hawkins, chief executive of Age Connects Cardiff and the Vale, said the support was crucial.

“Legacy donations are incredibly important to all charities, but especially to local charities like us who receive them less often," said Mr Hawkins. 

"They are a real source of support and no matter how big or small, they matter just as much. We’re always incredibly grateful. 

“Our Community Support Project supports those that don’t have family or friends nearby and who need a little help with day-to-day activities, or encouraging to join clubs and socialise, or who sometimes just need a friendly face to talk to.

"The funding from this one legacy alone has enabled us to sustain our Community Support Programme throughout the very challenging times of the pandemic and continue to fund volunteers today."