About us

About us

We’re here so no one has to face crisis alone. Since 2010, we’ve helped thousands of people in one of the UK’s most-deprived boroughs get their lives back on track. We’re more than a foodbank, that’s just one of the things we do. From the moment someone walks into the Tower Hamlets Foodbank, we sit down with them to listen to their story and find out why they are facing crisis in their life. We work to ensure they leave that same day with more than just food – our Advice & Support team ensure they leave with the start of a solution. By working with our partners, we provide support to those who need it, helping them get back on the path to sustainable and independent living. Together, we work to transform lives and build stronger communities.

 

“Let us not love with words or speech but in actions and in truth.”

1 John 3v18

Our manifesto

We believe everyone deserves to be loved. We don’t turn our heads away. We don’t close our eyes. No one should feel desperation. No one should feel unloved and alone. No one should slip through the cracks. We put more than meals in bellies. We put hope in hearts. We put lives back on track. We open eyes and make others feel empathy. We are the bridge between crisis and resilience. We turn fear into confidence. We help people take control of their own lives. We empower them to start living again. Because everyone has the right to be loved.

 

The Founders

Denise Bentley

Denise Bentley

Co-founder & CEO

Living out her faith has always been important to Denise. Never was it more challenged and ignited when an accident at work occurred. After a career in the City that spanned the banking and business consultancy sectors, she suffered a near fatal brain haemorrhage – but miraculously survived. During the healing process, she realised her life had been saved for a purpose – and decided to dedicate herself to helping people.

In 2010, Denise and her husband Aerold established First Love Foundation with a mission to deliver projects that tackles social injustice, the causes of poverty and deprivation – the first of which was Tower Hamlets Foodbank. Not wanting to just address the crisis, the vision for the Advice & Support Project was born and through it they’ve seen the transformational effect it has had on people’s lives.

Denise is a passionate advocate, an accomplished speaker, has featured in a number of media outlets and considered a respected governmental advisor.

Aerold Bentley

Aerold Bentley

Co-founder & Chair

It was a difficult time for Aerold when Denise suffered a near fatal brain haemorrhage – he was also very much aware how life can in a moment take a 180 degree turn. This is because, as a child, his mother was also given a 50-50 chance of survival after being diagnosed with a blood clot on the brain.

One of the biggest lessons he learnt was the importance of having the right kind of support around you when you are in crisis. It was in the midst of this that Aerold found his faith.

Although a major turning point, his passion for giving the voiceless a voice is rooted in personal challenges he faced in his youth. Now with Denise healed, he too dedicated the rest of his life to helping others.

Now looking to the future, Aerold is keen to see First Love Foundation continue to innovate and grow from strength to strength, playing its part in transforming the community – and beyond.

The Team

Debbie Pemberton

Debbie Pemberton

Enabling Lives Development Programme Manager

Anike Olaitan-Omole

Anike Olaitan-Omole

Project Worker

Debra Charles

Debra Charles

Project Co-ordinator

Barney Morris

Barney Morris

Warehouse Supervisor

Suzie Horsley

Suzie Horsley

Senior Administrator & PA to CEO, Denise Bentley

Our Projects

Back in 2010, we started out as a foodbank. But today, we also offer advice and support to those who need it most.

tower-foodbank

We work to tackle hidden hunger in Tower Hamlets, by providing emergency food support to people facing crisis.
Find out more

advice-support

Together with our partners, we provide advice and support to help people get back on the path to living sustainable lives.

Find out More

We can't do it alone

We work in partnership with the Child Poverty Action Group, the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, and a network of over 250 external agencies. Together, with our corporate partners and volunteers, we transform lives as we work towards building a stronger community.

IFCO
BigYellowBox
RainbowCollective
ComicRelief
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