Volunteers Ifan, Ian, Lis, Rhian and Llinos at Tabernacl's warm space event (Credit: Megan Ballantyne)

Mystery restaurant helps volunteers serving hundreds of meals to the homeless 

Cardiff church provides a city centre warm space and a square meal several times a week

A MYSTERY restaurant in Cardiff has helped volunteers to provide hundreds of meals for the homeless and vulnerable at Tabernacl Chapel in The Hayes.

“The restaurant provides hot meals twice a week and does it for nothing,” said Bill Davies, deacon of Tabernacl Chapel. 

“We have always believed in helping the homeless and this has made it a lot easier.”

Tabernacl Chapel, a Welsh Baptist Church, provides a warm space and hot food for homeless and vulnerable people in Cardiff each Wednesday and Sunday. 

Before the restaurant offered its services to the chapel, Tabernacl volunteers cooked food for the 30 to 50 people who attend each warm space event in its kitchenette.

Volunteer Llinos serving the food Credit: Megan Ballantyne

The help of the restaurant, which does not want to be named, has made life a lot easier.

Tabernacl provides vulnerable people with food, drink, conversation and any essential items they may need. 

“Sometimes people will come in soaked to the skin and need a complete change of clothes,” said Ann Beynon, who has attended Tabernacl Chapel for over 25 years. 

Tabernacl is open to donations from the public, and is particularly interested in receiving waterproof coats, trousers, socks and sleeping bags.

Sometimes people will come in soaked to the skin and need a complete change of clothes.” 

Ann Beynon,Tabernacl Church

Volunteers say they see a lot of the same faces each week since they opened a year ago.

“There is a couple who we have seen since we first opened,” said the Rev Davies. 

 “Recently they were excited as they found a room at a hostel. Unfortunately they didn’t have any towels, so they could not take a shower. 

“So my wife and I dashed home and brought them back some towels. With basic things like that, we do what we can.”

Tabernacl Church in The Hayes Credit: Megan Ballantyne

Tabernacl’s city centre location means makes it ideal for helping people who sleep on the streets. Cardiff has the most rough sleepers of anywhere in Wales, with 47 people recorded as sleeping on the streets as of November 2023.

Tabernacl provides the service as part of Cardiff Council’s Warm Hubs (Ganolfan Glyd) project.

Before this, the chapel had been providing tea and coffee for the homeless for over 30 years. It also supports other charitable initiatives, including the Croeso Butetown project to house a refugee family in Cardiff.

  • Tabernacl’s warm space in The Hayes is open Wednesday 12.30 to 2pm, Saturday 10.30am to 12pm and Sunday from 2pm to 4pm