COVID-19 Updates

During this pandemic, DENS staff continue to work hard on our vital frontline services to ensure the most vulnerable people in our local community are supported.

Our services are being stretched due to the unprecedented rise in people needing our support and emergency food parcels.

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 high rise in demand for food parcels.
  • Keep all staff, volunteers and service users safe and protected.

This page is regularly updated with information about our services, how to access them, and items we are most in need of.

Monetary Donations

This crisis is having a huge impact on our income due to the cancellation of all of our events and loss of income from other fundraising streams.

We desperately need your help, now more than ever, to meet the increased demand on our frontline services and make up the large shortfall.

Please DONATE now.

Your donation will not only help make up this shortfall, it will also ensure that we are able to continue to run our vital services and support vulnerable people in our community now, and beyond lockdown. Thank you.

You can also pay directly into our bank (please email us on for bank details).

Food Donations

Our Foodbank is sufficiently stocked however there are items we’re running low on, particularly:


  • Sponge Puddings
  • Custard
  • Tinned ham/corned beef
  • Deodorant – Men and Women
  • Toothbrushes – Singles/pairs
  • Kitchen Towel
  • Cleaning Sprays
  • Dishwasher Tablets & Salt
  • Washing up liquid

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


Our Foodbank remains open and we continue to provide emergency food. Social distancing measures have been introduced to keep the public, staff, volunteers and those donating safe.

We are currently experiencing an unprecedented rise in visits to our Foodbank and we expect this increase to continue, with young children still unable to attend breakfast clubs or free school meals until schools are back.

With the support of the local community, since the lockdown was announced, our Foodbank has provided emergency food relief to 1308 vulnerable local people, including 529 children.

We need you, our local community, to continue donating vital food supplies. There are certain items we are desperately running low on – please see our high needs list above.

Do you need a Food Parcel?

If you have a letter from the government instructing you to remain indoors, please phone Herts Help on 0300 123 4044 or

If you don’t have a letter but need help, please phone Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) on 03 444 111 444.

If you are concerned about a vulnerable local person and think they need help, please call Herts Help.

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

The Elms Hostel

The Elms has a critical role to play in accommodating and supporting Dacorum’s homeless, and we remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Strict social distancing measures are in place to keep everybody safe. Ensuring the wellbeing of our residents is a main priority, and our Keyworkers communicate with residents in new ways, such as via Video conferencing, WhatsApp chats, FaceTime calls and Voice messaging.

Day Centre

We have recently opened the doors of our Day Centre again, giving 1-2-1 appointments to help people who are rough sleeping or otherwise vulnerable.

If you are need help with housing or homelessness, please call 01442 275900 or email

Contact Us

If you are homeless, please call 01442 275900 or email

For any other enquiries please email

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