THREE of Chard’s prominent vegans have revealed they will be launching the first Vegan Food Arts And Craft Fayre in the town.

The event is set to take place in April, and has been organised by Helen Roberts.

Helping to launch the event will be Marisa Bento, who runs Chard Eco Deli, and Chard’s town crier Stuart Cumming.

Funds raised will go to The World Forest Organisation, of which Helen is an educational trustee.

She said: “ I am a new vegan but been vegetarian for 26 years.

“As there is only one shop in Chard dedicated to vegan and organic food, I decided to raise awareness and a bit of cash for my charity.

“We have had a huge response from traders all over the South West to come to the first vegan market in Chard. The response has been really amazing.”

The World Forest Organisation is run by chief executive Tracey West and her husband Simon West. The pair are currently in Kenya with five other team supporters.

Helen said: “We raise money to build schools in Kenya and provide work by planting trees.

“We have currently built seven schools and planted enough trees to fill Wembly stadium 75 times. Quite an achievement in two years.

“We desperately need funds to start our 8th school and to help the community get fresh water pipes to their villages. The four mile trek with 25kg of water on their head is no joke and must be stopped.”

So far, 11 stalls have already been booked in for the Guildhall on April 20, with 19 more pending.

Entry is £1, and every 10th person will receive a free raffle ticket or a free soy candle.

Stuart Cumming, Chard’s town crier, said: “We have been vegan for more than 22 years.

“My children are still all vegan and are now 28, 26 and 17.

“I believe that I am the only vegan town crier in the country.

“I love vegan fairs and to have one within our town is amazing.

“It is an absolute privilege and honour to have been asked to be part of the opening. This is a first for Chard.

“Remember you don’t have to be vegan to go. There are going to be many fantastic local business and dare I say it, maybe a few free samples to try.”

Marisa Bento, owner of Chard Eco Deli on Holyrood Street, is hoping to Helen's event will be a success so she can launch a regular fair in the future.

Marisa said: "Helen has invited me to help them launch the fair along side Stuart Cummings our town crier, I feel very honoured and humbled.

"At the moment, I am solely focused on supporting the amazing event Helen is organizing.

"As a vegan and as a vegan deli business owner, It is amazing to have a vegan ethical fair coming to town, there will be so many lovely stalls and some seriously yummy plant based foods available.

"It will be a really great all welcome, family friendly event.

"A great opportunity to try something different for those that aren't vegan, it will attract more people to visit our wonderful town and support an amazing charity."

Chard Eco Deli was launched as a trial, but has now been made into a permanent store.

Marisa added: "We plan on adding a naked beauty bar, adding more vegan foods so we can offer a wider variety of plant based products, and having a deli counter serving a wide variety of vegan cheeses and different flavours of seitan."