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COVID-19 Updates
DENS are working on frontline services to ensure the most vulnerable people in our local community are supported. Our key priorities are to: 
 
- Keep The Elms Hostel open and safe for our 44 residents, with self-isolation rooms set up and ready when required.
- Keep the Foodbank operational to meet the unprecedented rise in demand for food parcels.
- Keep all staff, volunteers and service users safe and protected.
 
In the last few weeks alone, our Foodbank has seen a 73% rise in the number of local people needed emergency food and basic household supplies. 
 
Things are changing quickly so we will keep this page updated regularly with information about our services, how to access our services, items we are most in need of and areas where we need help.

Monetary Donations

This pandemic has also had a huge impact on our income, having had to cancel our forthcoming Fundraising Events programme, set to raise £40,000. In addition, we have experienced unexpected costs for vital protective equipment of £2,265 so far, and our forecast suggests that this is likely to increase to £22,000 over a 12-week period. 
 
We desperately need your help to meet the increase demand on our frontline services and urgently need funds to help make up the large shortfall.
 
Please donate today
 
£20 could provide enough food for a 3-day food parcel for a family of four. We can  top up our fast-depleting levels in our Foodbank, purchasing items at wholesale prices; ensuring shelves on local supermarkets remain stacked to keep up with the high demand from the public.
 
£50 could pay for a day’s supply of vital protective equipment, cleaning and hygiene products, ensuring staff, volunteers and service users are kept safe at our Hostel and Foodbank.
 
£75 could equip a room at the hostel for somebody who is self-isolation, complete with a microwave, kettle, several days’ food, disposable cutlery/crockery, toiletries, books and a TV to give them the essential basics they need in a safe environment.

Please donate today.

You can also pay directly into our bank: Account: 02936259  Sort Code: 30-94-08 (Lloyds). 

See more details on the DENS Emergency Appeal page.

Food Donations

Our Foodbank is running low on the following items:

  • UHT Milk
  • Canned Soup
  • Tinned Meat
  • Tinned Fish
  • Long-life pudding

Food can be dropped off at the back of our Foodbank (Paradise, HP2 4TF) between 10.00 am and 1.00 pm, or alternatively in the Foodbank crates after the checkouts at these stores: Tesco Extra Hemel, Tesco Metro Berkhamsted, Tesco Tring, Sainsburys Apsley Mills, Sainsburys Woodhall Farm, Waitrose Berkhamsted.

We are not accepting any household goods, clothes or any other goods other than food until further notice.

DENS Services

Foodbank

Our Foodbank is open and we continue to provide emergency food, and will do for as long as is possible. In the meantime, we need you, our local community, to continue donating vital food supplies. While we haven’t run out of all food donations, there are certain items we’re running low on (see above).

How to get a food parcel:

If you have had a letter from the government instructing you to remain indoors, please phone Herts Help on 0300 123 40 44

If you haven't had a letter from the government but need help, please phone Citizens' Advice Bureau (CAB) on 03 444 111 444.

Please be aware that both Herts Help and CAB are likely to be experiencing a high volume of calls so it could take some time to get through. If a food voucher is issued this will be done over the phone. You will be given a voucher number to take to a food parcel distribution centre. You will need to tell the person at the distribution centre your name, postcode and the voucher number.

Distribution centres currently open in Hemel Hempstead are:

DENS Foodbank, The Hub, Paradise, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 4TF
Open Mon-Fri 10am-12pm

South Hill Centre, Cemetery Hill, Hemel Hempstead, HP1 1JF
Open Mon-Fri 9am-4pm

Your support of our Foodbank is vital at this time.  If you can, we’d appreciate cash donations to help keep this vital service open. DONATE HERE

The Elms Hostel

The Elms has a critical role to play in accommodating and supporting Dacorum’s homeless. Each year, hundreds of people come through our doors. Although we find ourselves in uncharted waters, we will continue to work through this in the most responsible, supportive and compassionate way we can. We have a duty to the community to continue to run The Elms through this pandemic.  We remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Day Centre

In light of the Government's announcement last night, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close the Day Centre to any visitors, with immediate effect.

If you are homeless or facing homelessness please call 01442 228000 between 8am-5:15pm or 0800 018 6050 between 5:15pm and 8am.

Community Services

We have temporarily closed our Social Enterprise Projects and Open Space until further notice.

Volunteering

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for DENS. We are not, currently, recruiting any new volunteers. Once the government guidelines on social contact are relaxed we will advertise any vacancies that we have on our website.

If you would like to volunteer to help those affected by coronavirus please visit the TeamHearts volunteering website. They are aiming to recruit volunteers for a number of roles across Hertfordshire. 

Contact Us

If you are homeless or facing homelessness please call 01442 228000 between 8am-5:15pm (ask for Housing Options) or 0800 018 6050 between 5:15pm and 8am.

For any other enquiries please email office@dens.org.uk

 

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