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!

Happy New Year!

Thank you for making LOVE Christmas 2016 the biggest and best one yet! Nearly 100 local people, business, schools, churches and organisations have supported the appeal and over 100 volunteers have donated their time to ensure that EVERYONE felt loved this Christmas.

Together you donated over 770 toys and collected enough food to not only fill 400 hampers but to also keep our weekly foodbank sessions running and see us into the New Year!

On the 21st December we held our two LOVE Christmas events, one for families where there were crafts, entertainment, a live band, hot food and games. Then we had a special event for single adults where we enjoyed a hot meal together and a special Christmas Quiz!

Every guest who attended was given a food hamper and a gift as a result of your kindness and generosity. Here are some photos from the day…


“I am always speechless when I hear what has been donated and struggle to find the words to truly express how grateful I am. There are hundreds of people facing crisis at any one time and we at First Love Foundation simply want to give them a chance to build a sustainable life, be happy and have hope for the future. However you supported us, thank you!”

Denise Bentley, CEO & Co-founder

To continue supporting us in 2017, please consider donating money to help people go from crisis to sustainability. Just £10 could change a life.

Thank you.

Could you help?

Are you able to donate some food items this week for our LOVE Christmas hampers?

Here’s how:

  1. Check our Christmas most needed items (see below)
  2. Organise a time to bring your donation to our warehouse.
  3. Or organise a supermarket delivery straight to our warehouse.
  4. Address: First Love Foundation, Unit C2 Poplar Business Park, 10 Prestons Road, London, E14 9RL
  5. Let us know when to expect your visit or the delivery of food (Monday-Friday 9:00-17:00)
  6. Get in touch with any questions – via the website or by phone 020 3069 9877

What we need:

  • Milk long life & powdered
  • Sugar (500g)
  • Rice (500g)
  • Savoury biscuits
  • Instant mash
  • Hot chocolate
  • Chocolate
  • Cup-a-soup
  • Angel delight
  • Jelly
  • Custard (powdered)
  • Christmas pudding
  • Nuts/dried fruit
  • Tea
  • Coffee

Thank you for your support! Let’s ensure everyone feels loved this Christmas.

Do good this Christmas #GivingTuesday

Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a day to remind and encourage us to come together and do good.Social-Posts-v3_giving-tuesday_v1

This Christmas, we are asking you, our friends, to help share the love with those isolated and facing crisis this season. Because after all, every person deserves to be loved and especially at Christmas time – wouldn’t you agree?

Our LOVE Christmas Appeal is centred on a celebration; a wonderful opportunity for people to come together, receive food and gifts to help lessen the isolation that many face. For many, this event will be the only opportunity to celebrate the season.

Give today – and let’s make this Christmas one to remember. There are 3 ways you can help, donate money, donate a gift and spread the word.

Why give?

A 2015 testimonial from one of our referrers at The Carers Centre…

“Thank you, all recipients of the five hampers were very grateful! One of the hampers went to a carer who cares for both his very elderly parents – the father has since passed away so I like to think that the hamper helped to make the last Christmas a better one than if he hadn’t had the hamper. Also the carer who received the hamper with the soft toy for her baby grandson is now in a hospice for her final days. I don’t mean to depress you but merely highlighting the value of the hampers in helping others find some temporary respite from their difficult circumstances. Perhaps you could feed that back to your donors?”

How you can help

  1. Donate money. We couldn’t do this without the support from our funders and donors. Please consider donating today as a one off or set up a standing order. Just £10 could change someone’s life.
  2. Donate a gift. Please look through our Amazon wish list and purchase a gift to put a smile on someones face. Have it delivered straight to our office: First Love Foundation, Unit C18 Poplar Business Park, 10 Prestons Road, London, E14 9RL
  3. Spread the word. Please help us raise support and awareness this Christmas of the isolation people face right on our doorstep. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to see how your support truly makes a difference. Retweet and share our posts to join our fight.

Thank you for all of your support so far – we really do appreciate it.

Find out more about LOVE Christmas here

LOVE Christmas, coming soon…

Can you imagine Christmas without food, decorations, heating or loved ones?

There are so many reasons to why people will be facing crisis at Christmas time; complex issues such as homelessness, domestic violence, sickness, and benefit delay, mental health, family breakdown, and redundancy are often contributing factors.

At First Love Foundation, we believe that no-one should face crisis alone, especially at Christmas time. Everybody has the right to feel loved, accepted, included, valued, appreciated and most importantly, cared for; wouldn’t you agree?

The Tower Hamlets community, and beyond, have proved that they do care by supporting our big Hamper Appeal Event, now called LOVE Christmas. Over the past 4 years, we have been able to give out thousands of special festive food hampers, toys for children, and gifts for adults.

 “The fact that people were kind enough to donate food and invite me to a party has really made my Christmas and boosted my confidence”

How can you show you care for those facing crisis this Christmas?

Keep a look out for more information and news coming soon…

Tower Hamlets needs YOU!

We have entered into the Aviva Community Fund this year and would really appreciate it if you could vote for us – it will only take a few minutes!

Help us secure a grant of £25,000 to launch and deliver the pilot year of our employability project. This project aims to prepare people, who are a distance from the jobs market, for an entry into employment and gain the skills to sustain it.

Your vote can help us

  • Provide employability training alongside well-being improvement counsellingAviva-Community-Fund-icon
  • Provide mentoring support and workshops to help reduce isolation
  • Build confidence and resilience
  • Restore hope and aspiration.

We are so thankful to all of you, our supporters, who have enabled us to help thousands of people every year, but now we want to be able to provide sustainability to those in Tower Hamlets experiencing crisis. We are determined to ensure that our unique model used in dealing with those most vulnerable individuals, within our community, brings about real, lasting change.

Vote for us and help a person make the journey from crisis to transformation, and lead a fulfilled and sustainable life.

Click here to make a difference

Thank you,

Denise Bentley

CEO & Co-founder

(The Aviva Community Fund offers the chance for us to get funding for an important cause in your community. If we get enough votes from friends, family and supporters in the community, our project could be entered into the Finals, where a judging panel will award the funds.)

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