Cardiff charity crowned ‘Local Legends’ for Covid-19 response and win £10,000 tech makeover

A charity in Cardiff has been crowned as the winner of Virgin Media’s ‘Local Legends’ competition by a prestigious judging panel for their selfless efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rumney Forum, which is a community-led charity and FareShare partner, was nominated for Virgin Media’s Local Legends competition which recognises those who have made a significant contribution to their community over the past year.

The winners of Virgin Media’s Local Legends competition, which launched to celebrate the switch-on of gigabit broadband services in Cardiff and South Wales, are awarded a tech makeover to the tune of £10,000 as well as Gig1 broadband for two years.

Rumney Forum focuses predominately on reducing food waste and helps distribute food parcels to hundreds of families in Cardiff that need it most. Other projects also include providing families with essential school items, such as clothing and accessories, as well as loaning tools and equipment to households in the area.

They even provided some much-needed Christmas cheer by creating a socially-distanced grotto experience for children and delivered Christmas hampers for vulnerable and elderly residents who spent the festive season alone.

Staff member Kathryn Wakeham said: “Knowing that we are making a difference in the community, means so much and really motivates us to keep doing what we’re doing for those who need it most.”

The charity was voted the winner for Cardiff and South Wales by a prestigious judging panel made up of Hannah Ingram-Moore, the daughter of the late Captain Sir Tom Moore; TV presenter and children’s author, Konnie Huq; The Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Cllr Rod McKerlich; and a Virgin Media representative.

Konnie Huq, a member of Virgin Media’s Local Legends judging panel, said: “Rumney Forum has performed admirably in its response to Covid-19, helping hundreds of people in Cardiff. Like so many others that have won the Virgin Media Local Legends competition, the hard work never stops and they will continue to help those in their community that need it most.”

Hannah Ingram-Moore, member of Virgin Media’s Local Legends judging panel, added: “The panel were blown away by the incredible work by Rumney Forum in their community over the past year and we felt that they were worthy winners of this brilliant prize. The commitment and variety in the range of services that they provide for their users is what set them apart and the prizes will go a long way to continue their great work. Well done to all involved at the Rumney Forum.”

The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Cllr Rod McKerlich, said: “Cardiff is a city full of community spirit and the work that the team at Rumney Forum have done over the past year, really epitomises that desire to help and support others. They truly are local legends, and not just in the eyes of the judges, but I’m sure, in the eyes of every child and every parent who have benefited from their hard work, commitment, and generosity of spirit.”

Although the group of volunteers didn’t expect to be rewarded or acknowledged for the work that they do through the charity, being nominated and winning the Local Legends competition for Cardiff and South Wales was a great occasion and moment for all of those involved.

Kathryn said: “We were over the moon to be nominated. Our initial reaction was being speechless and disbelief – we couldn’t believe that we had won.”

All of the prizes and gigabit broadband will be put to use at the charities’ base in Rumney.

Kathryn said: “The prizes will provide more opportunities and projects for the community, helping to improve the services that we already provide and to help support more people in the future.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected so many people in different ways and Kathryn – as well as Rumney Forum – is calling on people to keep an eye on those around them who may need a helping hand.

Kathryn said: “We are all in this together. A kind gesture and a nice smile can make a huge difference to people in these difficult times. Helping others is not only good for them and a good thing to do, it also makes us happier and healthier, too. Creating stronger communities builds a happier society for everyone. And it’s not all about money – we can also give our time, ideas and energy.”

Virgin Media’s Local Legends competition has also been running in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool and Leeds to celebrate the switch on of gigabit services.