About ACE 

ACE (Action in Caerau and Ely) is a locally owned and community led organisation that works with people from West Cardiff who are suffering multiple deprivation to co-design and co-produce poverty prevention and community regeneration projects.

The small charity has over 1,000 local members who work together to tackle the root causes of poverty. They manage three community buildings and deliver a range of community based services and activities that meet needs, including:

  • community and crisis support and financial capability
  • training and support for the unemployed
  • health & wellbeing work including mental health support and training
  • work with children, young people and families
  • heritage, arts and culture
  • social enterprise and local economic development
  • community and citywide influencing and campaigning
People at ACE carrying food and clothing donations

ACE in action

An example of the asset based approach taken by a member of the community is Natasha, who, together with her mum and Dad set up a community clothes shop.  She wrote that;

“Different types of people would come in – people crying, people who’d had house fires, people who were really down, but they would leave laughing…We sit and listen, and offer advice if we can. It’s not just clothes, we also give out stuff for a meal. If we’ve not got it well try and get it for them.”

The community shop has gone from strength to strength – the family started the shop initially in a room more like a cupboard, and with ACE’s help they secured funding to move to a bigger space, which people now enjoy coming to.  Natasha and her family volunteer their time at a foodbank distribution centre who in return allow them to take some of their toiletries back to their shop to give to people.

ACE and CAF Resilience

ACE was keen to work with CAF Resilience as they recognised that the biggest threat to the organisation was the phasing out of the Welsh Government's Communities First programme, its biggest funder. The small charity knew they needed to develop a mixed funding model (including grants, contracts, earned income) but were concerned that they lacked the necessary skills and experience to develop and maximise opportunities to diversify income.

ACE was one of the first charities to start on the programme and have thrived on it. CAF Resilience gave the charity the time, funding and support to develop a coherent and shared strategy, monitoring and evaluation systems, and funding strategy that is already bearing fruit. In the year following the programme ACE has successfully raised £900,000, including being awarded £500,000 to deliver a project tackling in-work poverty!

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