Case study | Action in Caerau & Ely

Helping ACE to support residents of Ely and Caerau 
At a glance:
•	Distributing energy, clothing and food vouchers to residents in crisis.
•	Delivering vouchers straight to beneficiaries, allowing ACE to respond quickly to urgent requests for help.
•	A streamlined procurement process, alleviating administrative pressures and saving time.
•	A dynamic and easy-to-use system which simplifies grant administration.

ACE (Action in Caerau & Ely) are a community developed charity who are owned and run by the residents of Ely and Caerau, West Cardiff. First launched in 2011, ACE delivers a range of initiatives which support and improve communities in the area. They aim to create “vibrant, equal and resilient communities for all, where people find fulfilment in themselves, each other, and the place where they live”.

ACE are a lifeline for residents, ensuring that those in the local community have a place to turn. ACE provide crisis support for those experiencing poverty, including fuel vouchers for those unable to afford energy bills amidst the Cost of Living Crisis. Another community service that ACE deliver is providing employment progression support, granting clothing vouchers to those who need PPE or interview clothing. Additionally, ACE undertake research, and provide food vouchers to participants.

Their challenges

When ACE partnered with FFBS in February 2022, they were looking for a system that would allow them to easily issue fuel vouchers to those in need. Other systems that they had used had not allowed them to track the progress of their applications and were difficult to use. They had also found that the process for sourcing vouchers was time consuming, increasing administration time and leaving beneficiaries waiting for emergency support. ACE needed a system that was more dynamic and better suited to their needs.

Our solution

ACE benefitted from the wide range of products and services available to order through FFBS, meaning they were able to provide other services, such as food vouchers, to their beneficiaries with ease. This streamlined system has alleviated administrative pressures, saving the team valuable time and making awarding grants simple.

Previously when sourcing supermarket vouchers, ACE would source these via a website, then process them internally and wait from them to arrive before they could be issued. Through the FFBS portal, vouchers can be issued directly to the beneficiaries’ email, and ACE are able to track whether they have been sent and redeemed. This makes the process of granting and issuing vouchers much quicker, allowing ACE to respond rapidly to urgent requests for support.

“We have been customers for nearly a year now, the portal is so easy to navigate, help is always available and the platform gives us scope to extend our products depending on funding. The service is efficient and enables us to make checks our end to determine the status of orders, it takes away a lot of administrative work.” – Nerys Sheehan, ACE

The results

Overall, the FFBS portal has offered better accountability and reporting capabilities for ACE, simplifying the procurement process. Reduced administrative pressures has allowed ACE to focus their resources on what matters most: helping those in the local community. Through our partnership, ACE were able to continue to provide valuable crisis help and employment progression support to residents of Ely and Caerau.

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