Some important news…
After 11 years of providing foodbank support alongside our broader suite of advice and wraparound services, the First Love Foundation team have decided to take the bold step of closing the foodbank element of our service.
Why have we closed the foodbank part of our service?
Back in 2020, in response to the pandemic, a multitude of pop-up foodbanks exploded into existence across the UK, set up by people with the best of intentions, wishing to ensure people could access food. Two years on, in Tower Hamlets alone there are now well over 60 food projects / foodbanks. We decided we could no longer continue to be one of them.
This decision was taken after much deliberation. It was also due to our growing concerns regarding the link we have observed between high-fat, high-sodium, highly processed, calorie-dense, long-life foods and the rise in long-term health issues that are aggravated by the prolonged consumption such food. These are the standard food items distributed to people in crisis via foodbanks.
To address this issue and demonstrate our commitment to being part of the change we want to see, we are directing our efforts towards facilitating access to affordable fresh food options, and we look forward to updating you on our progress soon.
While we establish this new approach, for any referrals requiring rapid access to food support, we will direct them to the vast network of foodbank organisations that now exists in Tower Hamlets.
The focus of our service:
Welfare Rights Advice and Advocacy
We are placing our focus on providing our AQS-accredited service that supports clients in crisis in the following ways:
Immediate crisis intervention
- Mapping the household needs and making tailored, specialist referrals based on assessment of their specific situation
- Providing ongoing case-management to ensure deep-level needs are addressed and resolved
Providing welfare rights advice
- g. UC applications, benefit checks, better-off calculations
- Appealing against a benefit decision, e.g. on UC or disability benefits
- Representing and preparing for tribunal, including first tier tribunal and upper tier tribunal
Giving wraparound support:
- mentoring clients and building up their sense of resilience
- preparing them with information/ helping them fill out forms if they are unable to do this without our guidance
- going with them to their appointment if they feel they really can’t face it on their own
- once our client’s situation is more stabilised, we explore with them their options and support them towards getting back into work, training, education or volunteering.
How to make a referral if you have a client in crisis
Referrals can be made to us via one of the 300+ referral agencies registered with us.
If you wish to enquire about becoming a referral agency, please contact us via this link:
We look forward to delivering our more focused model of support to people in crisis.