The Llantwit Food Project, which aims to make affordable healthy meals available to everyone in Llantwit Major, has won the 2023 Ystadau Cymru Award.

Launched in October 2020, the project is a joint venture delivered by the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Food Vale and the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Glamorgan Voluntary Services (GVS), Llantwit Major Town Council, Age Connects, Vale Foodbank, Fareshare Cymru, Newydd Housing Association, Hafod Housing, Citizens Advice among others.

These organisations came together to explore what the barriers are to accessing good food in Llantwit Major. Through conversations with local residents and experts, the group began to build a picture of what could be done to improve the situation.

Supported by funding from the national lottery, they were able to put their ideas into action and offer help to access healthy food and wider support services in the community.

The project has utilised the CF61 Community Centre, managed by GVS, to establish the monthly More Than Food Hub where residents can access support and help on topics including housing, finances, health and wellbeing, employment, child care and more.

The Centre sees the hub run alongside the GVS Foodshare Pantry, the St Athan Clothes Bank Pop Up and the Chatty Café, the community-connecting free cafe set up by More in Common Llantwit Major, creating a friendly safe space for the community to come together under one roof.

Whilst food is at the centre of this project, it also helps create connections within the community and raise awareness of available support.

Everyone is welcome to pop in and see the friendly team at the More Than Food Hub to chat about the advice and support available locally. All advice is free, confidential and impartial.

It is open every third Thursday of the Month between 12:30 – 2:30 within the CF61 Community Centre.

Cllr Eddie Williams, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health, said: “This is a fantastic project that has made a real difference to the people of Llantwit Major and others from further afield.

“It shows what can be achieved when people come together with purpose and a real desire to make a difference.

“I’d like to thank all the organisations involved for the commitment they have given to this initiative. I know it has helped a huge number of people.

“This award is richly deserved and a fitting reward for such dedication.”

“I am thrilled that the important work that all partners are carrying out as part of this project has been recognised. Thanks to the hard work of project partners, the CF61 centre has become the hub at the heart of the community ensuring local citizens have better access to affordable and nutritious food, as well as the wider support they need to support their wellbeing” – Fiona Kinghorn, Executive Director of Public Health.

The Ystadau Cymru award, presented by Welsh Government, celebrates collaboration across the public sector.

It has a particular focus on shared asset management and the success that can be achieved when different bodies work together.

Rachel Conor, GVS Chief Executive Officer, said: “GVS feels privileged to be a part of such a great partnership of diverse organisations, agencies and individuals all working extremely hard to support their local communities. I felt particularly honoured to be asked to accept the award on behalf of the project.”

The St Athan Foodshare Pantry is a low cost community store that makes it easier for residents to access food locally.

The store is open every other Wednesday between 11:30am and 1:00pm in the Gathering Place, Flemingston Road, St Athan, CF62 4JH.

The next pantry will take place on Wednesday, 7 February between 11.30am and 1pm and is open to all Vale of Glamorgan residents.

To book a time slot at the pantry please direct message the team on Facebook, contact Nicola at GVS on 01446 724817 or via email at nicola@gvs.wales.

Anyone with free to volunteer is asked to send enquires to GVS at volunteering@gvs.wales