COVID-19 Update: 22nd June

In today's COVID-19 update from Cardiff Council: ‘Real Change' - a new campaign aimed at building on the recent success in helping vulnerable people off the streets; the Council's outdoor sports and leisure courts are reopening; top 5 tips for pest control this summer; and Cardiff parents benefit from positive support provided by Parents First.


Time for Real Change

A new campaign aimed at building on the recent success in helping vulnerable people off the streets is being launched in the city today.

The Real Change campaign seeks to maintain the progress achieved by homelessness services during the lockdown period when the number of people sleeping rough dropped to single figures and more people than ever before started accessing life-changing services available in the city.

The Council and its partners are determined not to lose the positive momentum achieved in supporting people away from life on the streets, as the city centre begins to exit lockdown. All partners are encouraging the public to support real, lasting change for the vulnerable people who they see on the street.

The campaign asks people not to give their spare change to those begging on the street, but instead to signpost vulnerable people to the services that can deliver real change in their lives.

Anyone with concerns about a person they see on the streets is being urged to send for help by texting ‘REALCHANGE' to 80800, giving the location of that person. The city's homeless outreach team will then be sent to check on the individual to encourage them to come in off the streets.

Considerable success has been achieved in housing homeless people over the last three months, with only a handful of very entrenched rough sleepers remaining outside.  A large amount of good quality accommodation has been made available, including in two large hotels, and health and support services have been made available to help these vulnerable clients to address their underlying needs.

Good work was already underway to reduce rough sleeping in the city thanks to the  work of the award winning Multidisciplinary Homeless Outreach Team, but since the introduction of lockdown measures, more vulnerable clients than ever before are engaging with services, including drug replacement and therapeutic services.

Greater availability of accommodation and support has been a key factor in this change and the Council is committed to ensuring that this extra provision continues after the crisis is over. However another key change has been lack of begging opportunities during lockdown with less people drawn to the city centre.

Real Change seeks to raise awareness of Cardiff's wide range of services to support people on the path away from life on the streets and the success that has been achieved recently in making a real difference to people's lives. The campaign aims to increase public understanding of how best to support this work and how without the right interventions, individuals can remain outside, trapped in a harmful lifestyle.

Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: "Since lockdown measures came into force, we have helped 473 individuals into our hostels and additional hotel accommodation. 71 people have been referred into life-changing, drug rehabilitation programmes, many moving onto treatment within a matter of days of their initial consultation. That's 71 people who would more than likely still be struggling with drug dependency and misuse on the streets without our interventions - 71 people experiencing real change in their lives right now. Only five entrenched rough sleepers remain on the streets and we continue to work with them.

"We are committed to maintaining this improvement - there can be no going back!"

Read the full story here:


Cardiff Council outdoor sports and leisure courts reopen

Welsh Government has announced that, from today (Monday 22ndJune), all outdoor sport and leisure facilities, with the exception of playgrounds and outdoor gyms, are allowed to open.

As a result, all of Cardiff Council's outdoor tennis courts, basketball courts and MUGAs (Multi-Use Games Areas) are in the process of being opened.

Safety inspections are currently being carried out and new signage being put in place to remind members of the public of the need to maintain the social distancing required under the terms of the Welsh Government lockdown restrictions.

For more information on the Coronavirus regulations, visit the Welsh Government's webpage here:


Top 5 tips for pest control this summer

We're experiencing an increase in calls and online enquiries into how to deal with pests and infestations.

Specifically, there appears to be an increase in rat sightings at the moment, possibly linked to more people being at home, as well as their normal food sources not being available.  An increase in bird feeding is also accounting for the majority of our calls.

Please see our Top 5 Tips for avoiding pests in the summer months:


  1. More of us have taken to the garden due to lockdown which has led to an increase in bird feeding. As lovely as it is to feed the birds in the garden, especially at the moment, it is important that you keep a look out for rats as, like the birds, they soon get to know there is a regular food source. You should not put food directly on the ground under any circumstances.
  2. If you keep pets outdoors, such as rabbits and guinea pigs or have chickens, remember, their food is also an attractant to rats
  3. If birdseed or pet food is stored in a shed, make sure it is in a sealed and hard container, otherwise rats will be able to gnaw into it
  4. Garden sheds and decking are great places for rats to hide and nest under, keep an eye out for holes or runs appearing in these areas
  5. If pests are tearing open your recycling bags, please rinse food packaging such as bottles, tins, jars and food trays thoroughly, before placing in the bags for collection.


If you do start noticing rat activity within the boundaries of your property, you have a responsibility to take action as it will only get worse if left untreated.

You can treat yourself or use a professional organisation such as Cardiff Council Pest Control Section who can offer advice or provide a low cost treatment service. They can be contacted on 029 2087 2934

Pest Control is not a statutory function but we offer a significantly subsidised service at £55 for 4 visits.

Further advice is available here:

If you are a Council tenant you can request an order via connect to Cardiff on 029 2087 2087 (Option 2). If you are a Housing Association Tenant you should contact your Housing Association as they may have arrangements in place to deal with any rodent problems.


Cardiff parents benefit from positive support provided by Parents First

Parents First is a 1:1 psychology-led bespoke parenting service for children aged 0-18 across Cardiff.  

The team has continued to offer a service to parents since Covid-19 restrictions came into place by adapting their method of service delivery using telephone and video calls. 

Parents have engaged well with this method and have been able to benefit from the positive support provided by the team.

The team have been extremely positive and resilient throughout this period. As well as providing psychologically informed parenting support, they have worked closely with other agencies to provide necessary practical advice to support families in response to the lockdown period.

For more information about Parents First visit:

Or contact Cardiff Family Gateway on 03000 133 133