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Critical Worker (Key Worker) award 2023 winners

Huggard is Wales’s leading centre for people who are homeless and sleeping rough in Cardiff. The Covid-19 pandemic brought additional challenges for people experiencing homelessness, particularly those living substance use issues. During this time, the Huggard remained open 24/7, while proactively and positively managing risk and keeping people safe.

The Harm Reduction Team offered practical help and advice, such as registering with a GP and other treatment services, as well as the supply, and disposal, of sterile equipment for injecting drug users to minimise the risk of them reusing or sharing, providing innovative harm reduction support.

During the pandemic and to this day, they worked tirelessly to extend their services by taking them to where people were isolating, supporting them into treatment services, whilst minimising the harms and risks associated with both the use of substances and the pandemic itself.

Huggard also operates a Critical Intervention Hub, providing clients ‘around the clock’ access to intensive housing and independent living support and specialist substance misuse services. As a result, the team supported some of the most vulnerable individuals throughout the pandemic, providing an exceptional service, often at their own personal risk, with team members going above and beyond to protect and support those in need.