Community Allotment

Yesterday we visited Ynys Hywel Farm in Cwmfelinfach.  In partnership with the Parent Network the farm has opened an allotment for people to use from 12:00 – 2:00pm every Wednesday.  Thanks to Theresa Heal and team for showing us around this great project for the community.  If you would like to give a hand and learn how to grow and plant your own fruit, veg, and flowers, please contact the Parent Network. You might even get lucky like us and have the opportunity to bottle feed the lambs.

Gardening Group

Yesterday our volunteers started work on a third plot at TARAGGAN Educational Gardens & Nursery. John showed Gethin, Rees, Sam and Morgan how to plant leeks, broccoli, and calabrese, which is another type of Broccoli. Our volunteers helped to cultivate the land using a hoe to break up the soil before sowing the seeds. The broccoli should be ready to harvest 55-85 days after seeding, and the leeks 120-150 days.

Thanks to Paula and Sarah for popping by to say hi and for having a go at weeding – it was lovely to see you. If you would like to volunteer with us we are at TARAGGAN Educational Gardens every Tuesday morning from 10.30 until 12.30.


On Friday 12th May we held our final cookery session and were joined by Dan from our weekly Reconnect through Music group.  The theme for this week’s session was barbecue food, which meant burgers, hot dogs, sweetcorn, and ice cream.  We also invited people to dress up on a Hawaiian theme and it was lovely to see people wearing their Hawaiian shirts and garlands.  After eating, we enjoyed musical performances by members Natalie, Mathew, Louise, Morgan, Richard, and Sian.

We also took the opportunity to recognise the members who have regularly attended the cookery sessions over the past few months with certificates, small trophies and medals.  Well done to the members who won the following awards:

Best bingo caller: Amy Jones

Best washer-upper: Sam Evans

Quizmaster: Ffion Poole

Most cool: Richard Zollner

Most talkative: Gethin Chamberlain

Best dancer: Natalie King

Best singer: Morgan Jones

I love my food/best eater: Chris Davies

Best outfit: Sian

Best cook: Cheryl Smith

We also presented other attendees with a recognition of attendance certificate.

Thanks to Cheryl and Zoe for cooking and serving up the burgers, hot dogs, and ice cream, and well done to the attendees for prepping the salad (and dodging it to make room for the ice cream) – you’re all amazing, and to see you all grow in confidence over the past few months has been incredible.  Learning new skills, reconnecting with friends, and making new ones has to be the highlight of the sessions.

Thanks to the Comic Relief Community Fund for funding all 14 cookery sessions, and although we’re sad to see the sessions end, we’re hoping to obtain further funding to restart them in the future.

Gardening Group

Yesterday, at TARAGGAN Educational Gardens and Nursery, our volunteers built a wigwam support and planted runner beans. They also planted courgettes and French beans. Thanks to John for all his help and for showing us the best way to utilise all the space on our plot. The carrots, onions and broadbeans are slowly starting to sprout and the fruit trees are all looking really good.

Our volunteers sowed the courgette seeds by planting them individually on their sides and spaced them out to give them room to grow. They have also been covered to encourage growth and to stop the slugs and snails snacking on them. The French beans have been sown outside as there is no longer a risk of frost. They have been planted directly in the ground and should be ready to harvest in around forty-five days’ time.

Cookery and the Coronation

Friday’s cookery session was all about celebrating the coronation of King Charles III.  Our members and volunteers all looked amazing in their costumes and finery, and the chicken stir fry chosen by Amy was delicious.

Our members prepared pak choi, carrots shaved into ribbons, peppers, spring onions, cabbage, and mushrooms for the stir fry, which we served with spring rolls and prawn crackers.

Everyone did a great job as always, and thanks to Ffion for the quiz on the Royal family.  We finished off the party with strawberry trifle, Victoria sponge, and lots of laughs.

Reconnect Through Music

Thanks to Daniel Fitzgerald from RecRock for a another great music session yesterday. Our members once again had a great morning at Reconnect through Music, singing their favourite songs and having a go on the keyboard, and Matthew did a great version of Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash.

RecRock will be on Friday (12th May) rather than Wednesday next week, and will be held at Fleur De Lys Community Centre as part of our last Cookery session. Volunteers will be singing, dancing, and serving up hotdogs and burgers, so please book a space if you would like to join us

Gardening Group

Yesterday morning, Caerphilly People First volunteers Sam, Morgan, Amy and Rees worked on our new fruit plot at the TARAGGAN Educational Gardens & Nursery in Gilfach. The vegetable plot is starting to take shape and is looking much better now the weeds have been cleared, and the sun was shining, making it the perfect morning for working outdoors. The blackberries and blueberries our volunteers planted last week are also looking good. If you would like to volunteer with us at TARAGGAN, we are there every Tuesday morning from 10.30am onwards.

Caerphilly 2035 Consultation

The Caerphilly 2035 Masterplan is a blueprint for the future of Caerphilly town centre, which includes options and ideas to enhance and regenerate the area. Last week we were visited by Tahnee and two colleagues who are working with Caerphilly County Borough Council to gather the views of residents and businesses on what they like about Caerphilly, what could be improved, and what they think about the new plans.

Our members told Tahnee they would like to see better parking, more public toilets, and improvements to the train and bus stations. On the plus side, they all love the castle and events such as food festivals, concerts and ice skating, which they would like to see more of. We will continue to work with Tahnee in the future to give our views on council decisions and the development of the project.

Music with RecRock

Our members blew the roof off at the most recent Reconnect through Music session with RecRock. We sang songs by Bob Marley, Elvis, The Proclaimers, and Neil Diamond, and Gethin, Natalie, Morgan, Matthew, Nick, Lisa, and John played drums along with their favourite songs, accompanied by Daniel from RecRock on the guitar.

It’s great to see everyone growing in confidence and making friends through the music group. Getting up and singing in front of people isn’t easy, but our members put on fantastic performances every week.