Who we support

Nourish is a registered charity which was originally set up in response to the increasing numbers of low income working households who can't make ends meet once they have paid their bills, and those individuals and families hit by welfare benefit cuts or unemployment. Our aim is "No one need be hungry in Tunbridge Wells".

Nourish can provide short-term emergency support in a crisis to individuals and families within the borough of Tunbridge Wells and we are expanding into south Tonbridge as of 1st October 2016.

How We Help

Behind every one of these statistics is a story. They are all different. The following are just some of the stories from people we have helped this past year. Please note, all names have been changed.

“I just wanted to thank you so very much for the bags of food i received today. I’m so very grateful and humbled by the kindness of others. Please pass on my thanks to all concerned”
“Quite simply it has saved us! The kindness of strangers has been humbling, and reduced me to tears (for once, not from worry!). I cannot thank you all enough.”

How it works

Nourish is reliant on food and funding donated by the public, local businesses, supermarkets, manufacturers and charitable trusts.

Our volunteers, all DBS checked, range in age from 17 to 70.  They sort and date order food in our storage area at Big Yellow Storage in Tunbridge Wells and pack it into food parcels for families and individuals to last them for three days.  We operate a doorstep delivery using volunteer drivers rather than asking people to pick up their food from a central point, thus enabling us to ensure confidentiality.

Front line care professionals such as health professionals, social workers, family liaison officers, housing support workers, keyworkers, police, voluntary agencies such as CAB and Age UK TW and community referrers identify people in need and refer on to Nourish. We work with a wide variety of referral agents who are best placed to establish a criteria of need and ensure that it is genuine.

We strive to discourage a culture of dependency, preferring to support families and individuals in crisis until they are able to move on. Our policy is to issue a maximum 12 bags to a family or individual in any 12-month period. 

We also signpost to longer-term support and advice and help people acquire skills, including cooking, budgeting and dietary skills, as well as employment & training advice.

It's not just about food. The consequences of food poverty can be far reaching, including increased crime, loss of tenancies, mental health problems and family breakdown. Nourish can help provide more positive outcomes by offering a period of respite and an opportunity for change.

What It Means To Our Referral Agencies

"DAVSS was delighted at the very swift response to an urgent request for food for a domestic abuse survivor who only had tea bags and sugar in her cupboard for a week, until she received money due to her. The request went to Nourish mid afternoon and by 4.45 pm, a food parcel had been delivered to her door with the promise of a further delivery  4 days later to make sure she did not go without. This swift response was all that we could hope for - Nourish provided food yet again for someone in real need when there was no-one else to turn to. Thank you so much for providing this vital service"

“A special thank you to yourselves at Nourish Foodbank and your doubtless numerous supporters for enabling myself and Crossroads to support one of our very elderly patients with cognitive problems and help ensure her welfare. This lady has no relatives or close associates to assist and her former employer with whom she remains on good terms has had major health problems recently and has not been able to have any input.”

“John  has received your food parcel and has asked me to email you to thank you for everything,  you literally stepped in when he was at his lowest point and enabled me to help him to sort out his multiple issues while being able to safeguard his welfare. The process is so easy and I thank you for yet again being on the other end of the phone at an ungodly hour!”

Nourish Funders

Nourish Community Foodbank is grateful to all our supporters who have offered advice and expertise, and support in kind such as printing, storage, office, food, access to food collection and distribution point.

Nourish Funders

KCF Vulnerable Adults Themed Program

Huge thanks to the Kent Community Foundation and the Kent Reliance Provident Society Fund for awarding us a grant of £4,920 for 2017/2018.

The funds will pay for our new office rental from July 2017 to End of March 2018 and two desktop PCs.

One Stop Carriers For Causes

Thank you to One Stop Carriers For Causes who have awarded a grant of £700 to Nourish for 2017/2018. The funds will pay for 2 new laptops and a new printer to enhance our capabilities on the move.

Gatwick Foundation Fund

Thank you to the Gatwick Foundation Fund through Kent Community Foundation who have awarded a grant of £5,ooo to Nourish for 2017/2018. The grant will help fund our voucher scheme and also 6 months funding towards our van.

Childrensalon Charitable Fund

Nourish Community Foodbank is honoured to be one of the first recipients of a donation from the new Childrensalon charity.

The monthly donation throughout 2017 will enable us to continue to provide emergency food and support to people in need in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge and the surrounding areas.


Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Nourish Community Foodbank would like to express their utmost gratitude to TWBC for allowing Nourish to use the Gateway as a base for administration. We would also like to say a huge thank you for their continued financial support with an annual grant for 2017-2018.

Sir Thomas Smythe's Charity

2015-2018 Grant

Supported by Sir Thomas Smythe's Charity, awarding small grants to local welfare organisations in the Tunbridge Wells area.

Thank you to the Sir Thomas Smythe's Charity for their grant of £3,000 payable over three years which will help fund our fresh food voucher scheme ensuring our beneficiaries receive a healthy and balanced diet.

Royal Tunbridge Wells Round Table

Huge thanks to the RTWRT for a 2nd year of funding towards essential storage at Big Yellow for 2017-2018.

Find out more about the RTWRT here

The Henry Smith Charity

Thank you to the The Henry Smith Charity for their grant of £10,000.00 over two years to pay towards running costs.

Find out more about The Henry Smith Charity here

Past Funders

Town & Country Foundation

Nourish would like to express their thanks for the intitial funding and support from The Town and Country foundation. They funded Nourish for the first 4 years of existence and were key in helping turn this project from an idea into a reality.

Mrs Smith and Mount Trust

2015-2016 Grant

Thank you to the Mrs Smith and Mount Trust for their grant of £3,750 which helped fund our fresh food voucher scheme for 12 months ensuring our beneficiaries receive a healthy and balanced diet.

Big Lottery Fund

2015 - 2016 Grant

Thank you to the Big Lottery Fund for their grant of £4,064. The funding was be used to pay towards volunteer expenses, a tablet and mobile phone package and petrol costs for food collection and delivery. The funds also helped facilitate our expansion into Tonbridge.

The Brook Trust Fund For Kent via Kent Community Foundation

2016-2017 Grant

The Brook Trust Fund for Kent awarded Nourish a grant of £5,000.00 for 2016-2017. The funds were used for an admin assistant, fresh food vouchers and to help fund the cost of our Operations Manager working on our expansion project into Tonbridge.

Huge thanks from everybody at Nourish.

Find out more about the Brook Trust here and Kent Community Foundation here

Skinners' Company Lady Neville Charity

2016-2017 Grant

Supported by the Skinners' Company Lady Neville Charity, awarding small grants to local grass-roots organisations.

Thank you to the Skinners' Company Lady Neville Charity for their grant of £807 to cover the cost of a specialist power supply in our unit at Big Yellow plus some industrial weighing scales.

Sports Relief Community Cash 2016 via Kent Community Foundation

2016-2017 Grant

Sports Relief Community Cash 2016 awarded Nourish a grant of £995.45 for 2016-2017. The funds were used to buy 7 Clax folding trolleys for use by our volunteers when sorting, packing and delivering foodbags. These are now an invaluable asset to Nourish and our volunteers love them.

Huge thanks from everybody at Nourish. Find out more about Kent Community Foundation here

Cole Charitable Trust

2015 - 2016 Grant

Thank you to the Cole Charitable Trust for their grant of £600 which paid for a new light and new shelving in our second unit at Big Yellow. This has provided a safe environment for our volunteers when packing and sorting donations.

Gatwick Airport Community Trust

2015 - 2016 Grant

Thank you to GACT for their grant of £1,500 which helped fund our second storage unit at Big Yellow Self Storage. This storage space is essential for us to maintain stock levels and store donations to support local people in crisis.

South East Water Community Chest Fund

2015 - 2016 Grant

Huge thanks to the South East Water Community Chest Fund. They supported Nourish with a grant of £454.44 to pay for new collection buckets and volunteer photo ID cards.

Kent Community Foundation

2014 Grant

Nourish was awarded a grant of £4,986 from the Kent Community Foundation in March 2014.

The grant enabled us to provide the management, training and support that our volunteers merit and needed for a period of twelve months.

Skinners' Company Lady Neville Charity

2014 Grant

Thank you to the Skinners' Company Lady Neville Charity for their grant of £668 to cover the cost of 2 sturdy pop-up banners and associated artwork.

Why Is Nourish Needed?

Nourish was established in November 2012 in response to an identified need for the service in the Tunbridge Wells area.  The tables below show the most recent statistics that relate to households and children living in poverty in the local area.

Households and Poverty

In both Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, over 16% of households are living in poverty

                                                       Source: Office For National Statistics

Child Poverty

There are currently 3.7 million children living in poverty in the UK. That's over a quarter of all children. 1.7 million of these children are living in severe poverty. . In the UK 63% of children living in poverty are in a family where someone works.

In Tunbridge Wells, This figure is 17.54%, up from 16.96% in 2014, and in some areas of the town rises to as high as 31%

The consequences of food poverty can be far reaching, including increased crime, loss of tenancies, mental health problems and family breakdown. The cost to the local economy of Child Poverty is estimated as below.

The high levels of child poverty in the UK are currently costing the country at least £29 billion a year – or £1,098 per household - according to a research by Donald Hirsch of Loughborough University. Please read the full report here

Fuel Poverty

A fuel poor household is defined as one which needs to spend more than 10% of its income on all fuel use and to heat its home to an adequate standard of warmth.

The current definition of fuel poverty states that it is driven by three key factors: energy efficiency of the home; energy costs and household income.

Tunbridge Wells has the fourth highest fuel poverty in the South East.

Meet The Nourish Team

 Olga Johnson - Co Chair


 After 10 years in strategic HR in the commercial sector Olga set up Charity Recruitment Ltd in 1986 and was one of the first specialist recruitment agencies offering services to the charity sector. The company developed a range of services for the charity and not for profit sectors, including executive search, and provided staff at all levels.

Charity Recruitment also set up one of the first salary surveys in the sector and the Top 20 Salary Club that worked in partnership with 20 charities with annual turnover in excess of £50 million. These salary services have since been purchased by ExpertHR and the Top 20 Salary Club now has 50 members.

Charity Recruitment, together with the HR Directors of the NSPCC and MENCAP started the HR Forum in 1995 with regular meetings and speakers. This developed into a membership organisation with more than 70 charities and is now managed by the NCVO.

Olga  was a trustee of SightSavers from 2001-2009 when she contributed to the recruitment of a new Chair and a review of the Council so that Trustees more accurately reflected the international development work of SightSavers. As a trustee of The Institute of Fundraising from 2003-2009, Olga was Chair of the Committee implementing CPD for fundraisers.

From 2007-2011 Olga  chaired the Nominations Committee for Scope, working closely with the Chair and CEO to undertake skills audits of the board and recruit new trustees. Olga is currently a Trustee of HealthProm and SPANA and a Co-Chair of Nourish Foodbank as well as a frequent spokesperson to the press.


Paul Haines - Co Chair

Paul has lived in Tunbridge Wells since 2003. He has over 12 years experience as a finance professional and works in London for a large financial institution. 

Paul was previously a co-opted governor at a local academy and joined Nourish as a trustee in September 2013 and manages the website and social media for the charity.

He was elected as co chair in December 2014


 Carol Stone - Trustee and Hon. Treasurer


Carol is a freelance consultant, specialising in grant making and interim management for the voluntary sector.

Having begun her working life in arts management she has since held senior roles in the voluntary and public sector including at the Arts Council, the Big Lottery Fund, London Bombings Relief Charitable Fund and the Responsible Gambling Fund.  Voluntary positions have included trustee roles for arts organisations and for a professional pensions scheme, and serving as a member and contributor to steering groups, committees, reports and conferences in the UK and Europe, relating to grant making and to support for victims of disaster and terrorism.


  Carole Wilson - Trustee


Carol and her family have had connections with Tunbridge Wells for many years, her husband began his working life on the Courier, her daughter teaches locally and her grandchildren attend a local primary school.  

Originally from Ireland she spent most of her working life working for local authorities and the NHS in London and the South East. She has qualifications in nursing, psychiatric social work and management.

She and her husband returned to live in the town four years ago and have been active in a number of local societies and voluntary bodies.

Since her return she has been elected as the local Labour Party Women’s Officer and has taken a leading role in re-establishing the Labour Women’s Forum and is a candidate for next month’s council elections.

Carol said, “I am delighted to have been elected as a trustee for Nourish which has a vital role in supporting the many families and individuals in real need in these difficult economic times.”


Alisa Sweeney - Trustee

 Alisa is a real estate lawyer practising as a partner at a large Tunbridge Wells firm. She Has been married to Paul for 17 years, a quantity surveyor and lives with him and her 5 pedigree cats in the pretty village of Mayfield. Alisa' s interests including dance, both watching and enjoying ceroc dancing, cooking, theatre and cinema and walking in the country side or attempting to keep up with her husband cycling around the Sussex and Kent countryside or even better the warmth of the South of France.


 Adrian Tofts - Trustee

Adrian lives in East Sussez and currently works for a local authority in Kent as a Landscape Architect and Town Planner. He studied at art college in Cheltenham and has worked for consultancies and local authorities in Suffolk, Chester and Cambridge.

His likes include Art, architecture, design. Exhibitions and galleries. Cricket. Music. The outdoors. Making ice cream.


 Martin Holroyd - Trustee

Martin is the Product Director at a Media Intelligence business, based in London, and has worked with media-related technology for the past 18 years.

He is originally from Preston, Lancashire, though lived in London for 20 years, and recently moved to Five Ashes near Mayfield. His interests include, reading, gardening, attempting to keep fit and Manchester United.


 Marianne MacDonald - Trustee

Marianne qualified as a pharmacist 25 years ago and has worked as a community pharmacist and pharmacy journalist before moving into the field of medical and pharmaceutical communications. Previously the founder of two successful and award-winning healthcare communications companies, Marianne now runs her own business providing strategic consultancy and editorial support for the healthcare industries. She joined Nourish in 2013 as a volunteer and has been a Trustee since October 2015.


Graham Jones - Trustee

Graham was joint senior partner of a leading firm of solicitors in Knightsbridge until his retirement in 2015. He has lived with his wife, Alison, in Withyham for 23 years. Graham became a Trustee in late 2016 having initially obtained experience as a volunteer bag packer with Nourish. He is currently one of the team of drivers who deliver food bags to our clients.


Islay O'Hara - Trustee

Islay is a PR and marketing specialist with over 20 years’ experience gained both in the corporate sector working nationally and internationally specialising in Healthcare PR and, more recently, in the Third Sector working for local charities, developing and implementing marketing and communications strategies supporting their growth and expansion.

She has been living and working in Tunbridge Wells for the last 26 years and is married with two children who attend local schools.

“I am delighted to have been elected as a trustee and I am looking forward to helping Nourish grow to the benefit of those in need in our local community.”



 Could Nourish Help You?

To qualify for help, families and individuals have to be referred to Nourish by a professional care organisation, such as Social Services, DAVSS, Local housing groups, Citizens Advice Bureau, Age UK etc. We also work with Churches, Schools and Doctors Surgeries.

If you feel that you are in need of the service provided by Nourish Community Foodbank then please speak to your GP, Social services, your care provider or the CAB.

Your GP or relevant agency can then refer you onto Nourish and we will be in touch.



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