Hidden below the Llamas Street Church in Carmarthen city centre you will find Cegin Hedyn, a café offering organic, tasty, and fresh meals made by local volunteers who are learning how to cook and engage with locals whilst creating and serving food.
“It means Seed Kitchen in Welsh, I believe that we are all seeds and we grow to become the people we are, but the environment in which we grow is vital’
This is what drives Cegin Hedyn owner Deri Reed to work with volunteers in the kitchen. Having grown up in Carmarthen with the opportunity to cook and access fresh produce, he wanted to give something back. When the opportunity arose to be able to use surplus food for a purpose bigger than the giving itself, the lightbulb lit up in his head.
“We run as a pay-as-you-feel café, allowing the public to come in and try the fresh and delicious food we make. It is unique to Carmarthen and allows us to help and give back to the community in so many different ways”
There is an opportunity at Cegin Hedyn to purchase tokens to hang on the front sign, one token is a meal and allows visitors to give someone who may not be able to afford it the chance to enjoy a meal on them. Just one way the restaurant is providing a helping hand to the community.
At the heart of the Cegin Hedyn project are the volunteers who come in day in and day out to help Deri, which means he has more time to develop the restaurant – making it the most welcoming environment it can be for visitors.
“The most rewarding part of this project is the volunteers. To see the development of some of the guys we’ve had come in is crazy to me. The more I can rely on my staff in the kitchen and restaurant the more time I have to ensure that we can offer a space for the community to come together”
Deri receives a weekly delivery from FareShare Cymru, whom he has been a big admirer of since he first heard of the work we were doing with charities and community groups across South Wales – being a Carmarthen local and aware of the ways he could help, Deri was eager to bring FareShare to West Wales.
“I can’t remember exactly how it started, but when the opportunity arose it felt like the perfect time to start – I’d be in discussion with FareShare for a while and so when I found out they were coming to West Wales I was delighted and ready to get involved”
Cegin Hedyn and FareShare Cymru have recently partnered up to help fight hunger and tackle food waste in West Wales, with Deri using his network of volunteers to help FareShare Cymru to deliver to more communities across the country.
The partnership will see FareShare Cymru deliver into Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, and Ceredigion using the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s car park as a location to store their vans. You can find full details of the partnership announcement here: FareShare Cymru Partnership announcement