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CATCH Online

Supporting Families & Communities in Cwmtawe


Working on a project like CATCH, articulations of what we understand ourselves to be about emerge from a remark or draft by one person, get picked up and elaborated and used, and continue to evolve through time.

On July 5th, CATCH put up a stand at Fera Fest, and the display for the back of the table included these words:


 CATCH is an independent voluntary organisation, ‘made in Cwmtawe’, ‘by Cwmtawe,  in  Cwmtawe, for Cwmtawe’. We are working to provide emergency aid (initially food parcels) to those in dire need in our communities at the head of the Tawe Valley, where poverty is increasing and is indiscriminate in who it affects. We also aim to provide signposting advice, to direct those who come to us to any organisation or agency that may be able to help with their underlying difficulties.


Some of that we’ve been saying for some time. You’ll find some of it elsewhere on this website, and you may have seen bits of it on leaflets and handouts.

One of the more recent additions and emphasises is that fourth word – “independent”.

It’s always been in the thoughts of the core group who have built CATCH food bank up. It was the reason why we decided to undertake the long haul of re-inventing the wheel (though PATCH helped us enormously) instead of buying an off-the-peg set-up.

Now we’re really up and running, that decision seems more than ever vindicated. In order to reach all the people we believe need the help we can give, we’re going to have to be flexible and creative in finding a variety of ways to deploy the resources the community entrusts us with as a food bank.

To that end, we welcome all approaches and suggestions from the community about this. We’ve often had it said to us, “It could happen to anyone. Worst case, we’re all only (insert your own estimate of weeks or months) weeks/months away from crisis.” Or to put it another way, you/we may be OK, but what about your son / daughter / nephew / niece / grandchildren / friends / neighbours / workmates ?

The voucher referral system is good at picking up people who are in deep crisis ( but not infallible – pride can survive a lot of deprivation ). We suspect we need other ways of helping e.g. families with at least one adult in work who are nonetheless in a dark corridor of anxiety, at times approaching desperation.

The other side of this coin is that CATCH is also very open to approaches from people outside Cwmtawe who may be feeling the sorts of things that pricked us to embark on this course.

We are not imperial. We do not want to expand – we have enough to do in Cwmtawe. But, in the spirit in which PATCH helped us, we are very willing to share ideas and ‘systems’ with others who are thinking of doing something similar in their own local area.

Just email info@catch-online.org.uk.