First Love Blog

From March 2020, we aim to inspire and uplift with every post we write. The First Love blog has always been about documenting the support of the community, our success stories and the like – but we are living in a very testing time right now. We hope you can come here to unwind, be inspired, and leave wanting to create positive change. We hope you enjoy!

Supermarket Collection – 25th & 26th

We’ll be at Sainsbury’s in Whitechapel on the 25th & 26th of June collecting much needed food for our Foodbank! Pop by & say hello!

Given the increase in demand for the service over the past few months, our stocks are running very, very low. We urgently need food to be able to feed everyone at LOVE Summer, our summer scheme, as well as through our weekly foodbank sessions.

LOVE Summer, aims to alleviate the financial strain on families who are affected by not receiving free school meals during the holidays. We run weekly sessions with activities & entertainment for local families who may be struggling. Here they will recieve the important food packages, along with advice & support from our project workers to ensure they are receiving the help they are entilted to.

Come down to Sainsbury’s, add a few items to your shopping trolley and drop them off on your way out to support those in your community.

Here are our most needed items:

  • Rice 1kg & 500g
  • Instant rice & noodles
  • Cooking/pasta sauce
  • Tinned vegetarian meals
  • Tinned meat
  • Tinned spaghetti
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Tinned fruit
  • Rice pudding
  • Custard
  • Honey
  • Sugar 1kg & 500g
  • Cordial
  • Fruit juice (long life)
  • Milk (long life) 1ltr & 500ml
  • Hot chocolate powder
  • Washing up liquid
  • Washing powder
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Shaving foam
  • Toilet paper
  • Plastic carrier bags

Thank you!

Filling the gap where needed

Thank you to the Big Yellow Self Storage Bow for partnering with us for over 5 years!

Since October 2010, Big Yellow have generously provided us with free storage space. We use this space to store equipment for our seasonal schemes, summer and Christmas, as well as using it to store food when our warehouse is full.

Fahad, Deputy Manager said “It is our local area charity and we know from [the] last few years there is lots of stress and need in the area. We have been trying to help as much as possible to support the charity to keep doing the good work getting people and community together.  Filling the gap where needed.”

We greatly appreciate Fahad and Big Yellow’s continuous support, “The long standing relationship that we have with Big Yellow in support of Tower Hamlets residents is a perfect example of what can be achieved through the collaboration and good-will of local businesses and the community it serves” Aerold Bentley, First Love Foundation Co-founder & Chair

Find out about our other amazing partners here

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Ready, set, go!


Want to set yourself a challenge and raise funds to support people facing crisis in Tower Hamlets? We are very excited about our first ever charity run but we need your help.

It’s amazing that so many schools, churches, business and individuals generously donate food every week to our Foodbank to tackle food poverty. But it is our supporters who fundraise and donate money, that help us transform lives from crisis to sustainability through our Advice & Support project.

When: Sunday 10 July 2016

Time: 9:30am

Where: London Piccadilly

Event: Vitality British 10k London Run

Fee: No upfront costs for you. The cost of participating (£36) will be taken from the funds raised.

Target: This is up to you to set at whatever you think is achievable!

Take part

Join #TeamFirstLove and run through the heart of London, passing the capital’s world class historic landmarks, to raise money and transform lives in Tower Hamlets.

We will support you with:

  • A fundraising pack with all the information you need to keep you on course for the run – including how to set up your Just Giving page, fundraising materials and tips on how to promote on social media.
  • A Team First Love running vest to wear on the day and keep.
  • Our support every step of the way. From promoting your Just Giving pages on social media, to organising meet ups with the rest of Team First Love so you can train together.

Support the team

Sponsor those putting their physical fitness to the test to make a difference in Tower Hamlets. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to find out who is in #TeamFirstLove, keep up to date on their training and find links to their Just Giving pages.

To find out more about the event, visit

What if giving up meant simply giving?

Wednesday marked the first day of Lent, a time for self-reflection. So we’re asking the question, instead of giving up coffee or chocolate, why don’t we make lent 2016 about simply giving?

We challenge you to consider giving just £4 towards our lent appeal and contribute towards restoring lives in Tower Hamlets. To donate £4 – text ‘LENT04 £4’ to 70700.

If you’d like to continue to see lives changed, donate £24 by texting LENT04 £4′ to 70700 every week for the 6 weeks of lent.

Alternativley, click donate in the top right hand coner of this page to donate online.

Thank you – we really couldn’t do it without you!

Join in the conversation online by using #simplygiving to encourage others to get involved.

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End Child Poverty

Now you see them… now you don’t!

After weeks of campaigning we were delighted that the government’s proposal to stop reporting income as a measure of child poverty was defeated on Monday in the House of Lords, meaning no child will be ignored.

We joined with End Child Poverty coalition to campaign against the suggested reforms to the 2010 Child Poverty Act. It was proposed that GSCE attainment and numbers of children living in workless households would be a sufficient measure of the scale and depth of child poverty in the UK. However, we know first-hand that working families on low incomes struggle to provide the basics for themselves and their families. Many of the people we meet at our foodbank often have to choose between putting on the heating and putting food on the table.

28% of children in the UK are living in poverty. That’s 3.7 million children, or the equivalent of everyone living in Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Cornwall and Manchester living in poverty.

By changing the way child poverty is measured, we would be ignoring 2.4 million children, or 64% of children living in poverty, who are in working families.






One of our First Love Foundation heroes, Lorna, met with End Child Poverty to tell her story about what it’s like to be a working parent facing poverty.

“I should have been able to afford it, as a working mum, but I couldn’t afford to put food on the table for my children” Lorna

You can read her blog here.

Alison Garnham, the Chief Executive of the Child Poverty Action Group (one of our partners) said, “The Lords is on the side of the experts and the public here. MPs now have a chance to demonstrate their commitment to tackling child poverty.” The Guardian, 2016. Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Owen Smith said “It should be a national mission to ensure every child has a decent start in life and measuring relative wealth and narrowing the gap in incomes must be central to that task.” The Independent, 2016

Statistics from End Child Poverty website and twitter feed
Alison Garnham – House of Lords votes to keep income-related child poverty measures, The Guardian, 25/1/2016. Read more
Owen Smith – Government loses major House of Lords vote to redefine child poverty, The Independent, 26/1/2016. Read more

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