Christmas Guidance

We are closed from 5pm on 24th December until 8.30am on 4th January. We hope you all have a safe festive period and if you need urgent assistance please phone the relevant national helplines as shown below:

Police – in an emergency phone 999
For other calls please phone 101

Samaritans – 116 123 or visit https://www.samaritans.org/

Mankind – for male victims of domestic abuse – 01823 334244 or visit https://www.mankind.org.uk/

National Domestic Abuse helpline – 0808 2000247 or visit https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/

Out of hours Children’s Services Hertfordshire – 0300 123 4043

Out of hours Adult Services Hertfordshire – 0300 123 4042

Family Support Resource

Click below to view PDF (opens in browser).

Food Providers

Click below to view PDF (opens in browser).

North Herts Food Providers Christmas 2020

District Wide

Healthy Hub North Herts https://www.healthyhubnorthherts.co.uk/

Has launched a campaign that hopes to bring joy to residents who might be spending Christmas alone this year.

The Festive Delights campaign will see the Healthy Hub provide giftbags to 300 residents in North Herts. Each giftbag will contain a selection of thoughtful locally sourced Christmas gifts including handmade Christmas puddings, gingerbread scented soaps, Christmas chocolates, a Christmas card from the Hub team, as well as packets of hot drinks and biscuits. Find out more here: http://ow.ly/NHqP50Cy9aM

NHCVS https://www.nhcvs.org.uk/

NHCVS are still providing a grocery shopping service via our amazing team of volunteers for those residents self-isolating or who are unable to arrange food deliveries. 

Feed Up Warm Up (FUWU) https://www.facebook.com/feedupwarmup/

We will continue to distribute food parcels to our 30 families every week and run our drop ins giving out an additional 25 parcels weekly in Hitchin. 

However, our biggest barrier is being able to include fresh fruit and veg in our parcels which we all know is essential. We currently get free fruit and veg from Edible London once a week and Best Before Café often drop us a few crates if they have any spare. Email: feedupwarmup@gmail.com

Family Action – Christmas Toy Appeal: https://www.family-action.org.uk/get-involved/toy-appeal/ 

NHCVS https://www.nhcvs.org.uk/

NHCVS are still providing a grocery shopping service via our amazing team of volunteers for those residents self-isolating or who are unable to arrange food deliveries. 

Herts Young Homeless https://www.hyh.org.uk/sugifts   

Are continuing to support their service users this Christmas. They are delivering gift vouchers to the young people they support so they can buy their families and themselves what they need. The deadline for this will be 8th December 2020 so they can distribute the vouchers in time. 

Women’s Refuge are distributing refuge parcels and gifts to woman or children escaping domestic abuse this Christmas. http://www.refuge.org.uk/christmas/ 

Settle https://www.settlegroup.org.uk/

We will be holding a list of residents that will be referred through by our housing officers and creating Christmas hampers for them. It won’t be fresh food though. Usually we liaise with salvation army re kids toys and combine with them, plus refer through Hitchin families to the group covering there.  We are also going to be getting some food off the food bank this year to bulk out the hampers. Email: nicola.price@settlegroup.org.uk

Christmas for Care Leavers 2020 Appeal gives gift vouchers instead of the usual Christmas boxes from HCC to care leavers. The deadline for this is 30th November 2020. Email: CareLeaversChristmas@hertfordshire.gov.uk

Rural Areas

Codicote Food Bank https://www.facebook.com/codicotefoodbank/

We are providing Christmas hampers, including vouchers, plus normal staples to all our regular families. 

We can also provide parcels on demand if requested. 

In addition, we are running a Christmas stocking appeal. Any surplus will be available for distribution during Christmas week. We are delivering these and hampers on 21 December. 

We will be available for emergency parcels right the way through other than the official bank holidays. 

Weekly deliveries to our regular families will restart Wednesday 30th December and then back to our normal Friday thereafter. Email: codicotefoodbank@gmail.com

Buntingford and Villages Food Bank https://www.facebook.com/buntingfordfoodbank/

We have been busy delivering food parcels and organising our Christmas hampers. We have (currently 65) hampers to prepare. We will continue to offer Foodbank deliveries up to and over the Christmas period. We currently support 5 North Herts Families. For more information contact – 07425134363

Barley Pantry (including surrounding villages) FOR MORE INFO EMAIL: barley.assistance@gmail.com 

Barley Assistance will keep food pantries open in Barley, Barkway and Reed over the Christmas period. 

Volunteers are currently creating Christmas bags, with Christmas food. We are fortunate to have owners

 of a well-known chocolate business on our doorstep and they will be providing chocolates for the bags.

Food Rescue Hub (Hitchin and Stevenage locations) https://www.foodrescuehub.uk/

Discover our food boutique where unsold food, otherwise destined for destruction, is rescued and diverted from the bin, and instead offered to our community on a pay-as-you-feel (PAYF) basis.

  • HITCHIN – THURSDAYS 9.30 – 11AM AT THE HALF MOON PUB, 57 QUEEN STREET, SG4 9TZ
  • STEVENAGE – SATURDAYS 10.00 – 11.00 AM AT OUR MUTUAL FRIEND, BROADWATER CRESCENT, SG2 8EH
  • Open to the public Dec 3,10,17,24. HITCHIN 
  • Open to the public Dec 5,12,19. STEVENAGE 
  • May do ad-hoc supermarket support to clear surplus if called on outside of regular pattern Dec 22-Jan2
  • Open again to the public in 2021 on Jan 10th in Hitchin and Jan 12th in Stevenage.
  • We will be working with our charity sector partners to ensure nothing goes to waste. 
  • We have been given use of freezer space at Kings Community Church to store any non-perishables

Kings Community Church, Letchworth https://kingscommunitychurchlgc.wordpress.com/

Will continue to support families on the Jackman’s estate from their food hub over the festive period. They will be giving away best before food on Wednesday 23rd December and Wednesday 30th December outside the church between 2-4pm. Will also be distributing food parcels to those in need on the Jackman’s Estate on 23rd December. 

If you know of anyone in need on the estate, please contact Chris on 07754265896 before the 15th December.

KINGS COMMUNITY CHURCH HAVE A CHEST FREEZER AND ARE HAPPY TO FREEZE EXCESS FOOD TO BE DISTRIBUTED.

Fragrance of Life Connections http://www.rccgfolc.org/upcoming-events.html

This Christmas, Love Your Neighbour has launched a new national initiative called Love Christmas to

help us all spread the power of love, hope and kindness to people struggling with Covid and other

social challenges this winter. As part of Love Christmas, we’ll be giving out hampers to families and together with others, helping deliver a million Christmas boxes. Although our individual “boxes” may differ, by joining forces through Love Christmas, we can share a powerful message of unity and love in action. For more information contact admin@rccgfolc.org

Sandon Support – EMAIL GAY AYTON – ayton.sixbells@btinternet.com

We are using the vouchers provided to us by NHDC as part of a small hamper that we are treating families and individuals with this Christmas. These will be given out in the next week or so to allow time to buy their shopping.

Trussell Trust Foodbanks – Hitchin, Letchworth, Baldock. https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank

We are planning for Christmas and into 2021. We are investigating how best to help families whose children are on free school meals during the holiday period and providing Christmas Hampers to those families who have suffered most over the past six months. 

Letchworth Food Bank will be liaising with the Salvation Army to make sure the two services complement each other. Please note that the items provided by the food bank and the items provided by Salvation Army will differ and therefore the two hampers can be given in tandem.

Salvation Army Letchworth https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/letchworth

We are providing food hampers alongside toys to families by referral. We have referrals from Letchworth and Baldock Schools, Homestart, Health Visitors, Family Centres, HCC Children’s Services and Settle. The hampers do not include fresh food. Selection boxes are provided for each child. Deadline for referral was 27th November.

The Salvation Army are liaising with Letchworth Food Bank. The items provided by the Food Bank and the items provided by The Salvation Army will differ and therefore the two hampers can be given in tandem. 

SALVATION ARMY HAVE A CHEST FREEZER AND ARE HAPPY TO FREEZE EXCESS FOOD TO BE DISTRIBUTED.

Make Lunch Letchworth https://stpaulsletchworth.co.uk/find-us/

https://www.tlg.org.uk/your-church/make-lunch

We are looking to do a treat hamper for our families for Christmas which will include toiletries, food treats, books and activities for our 32 families (this equates to about 75 children and 50 adults). If you’d like more information please contact Emma.vernon@stpaulsletchworth.co.uk

Make Lunch Royston https://www.tlcroyston.org.uk/cause/make-lunch-hampers/

They provide food parcels to families in need over school holidays referred to them directly through schools.

They currently provide for 102 children and will continue to support them throughout the Christmas holidays.

Ashwell Food Pantry http://stmarysashwell.org.uk/pantry/

The Ashwell Village pantry is available every day in St Mary’s church and follows the concept of “put in if you can, take out if you can’t”.

Looked after by a group of volunteers, the pantry is stocked by donations from people in the village and is there to be used by anyone who finds themselves in need. If you want to get in touch please email ashwellfoodpantry@gmail.com

Hitchin Community Hamper Team  http://www.hitchinpartnership.org/

This year we will be providing a supermarket e-voucher to families/individuals referred for a “hamper”.  Referrals are through schools, family support workers and support agencies (cut-off date 27 November).  The e-vouchers will be provided a week before Christmas to allow families time to buy their shopping for Christmas.  We will be funding raising and asking for toy/gift donations to ensure we can give a gift to all the children referred aged 0-18 years.  These will be hand delivered by volunteers.

Howard Garden Social and Day Care Centre https://directory.hertfordshire.gov.uk/Services/10612

Funds permitting, are planning to open the lunch club at Howard Gardens on 29th and 30th December for their most isolated members as many will be unable to access family due to age and vulnerability.

ANY SURPLUS FOOD THAT ANYONE HAS DURING THIS TIME WOULD BE HUGELY APPRECIATED AND I CAN TAKE FOOD BETWEEN XMAS AND NEW YEAR TO DELIVER TO ELDERLY PEOPLE WHO ARE ISOLATED / LIVING ALONE

Best Before Café https://bestbeforecafe.co.uk/

Is a volunteer led group from Letchworth that feel surplus or unsold supermarket food should not go into landfill. They rescue food from supermarkets to share with the community. This means food that is perfectly edible doesn’t end up in the bin!

They have a shop unit in the Garden Square Shopping Centre, Letchworth where they distribute food for a minimal cost. It is open Tuesday 12.30 – 2.30 pm and 5 – 6 pm. Wednesday 12.30 – 2.30 pm and Friday 12.30 – 2.30 pm.

Over the Christmas festive period they will be open as usual except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. 

They will be opening on Saturday 26th December & Saturday 2nd January at 12.30pm – 2.30pm.

Royston Foodbank https://www.facebook.com/roystonevangelicalchurch/

Issuing food parcels from their hub at Royston Evangelical Church York Way, Royston, SG8 5HJ.

Weds & Sat 9am – 11am. If clients are unable to access the hub then delivery of a food parcel can be arranged. The church have also been packing Shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.