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Opening times: Monday - Tuesday 9am - 4pm, Friday 9am - 1.30pm, Closed Wednesday and Thursday

Please meet Lorraine Ridley who has join Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre team with special duties of collecting donations from our partners Lidls plus promoting various community appeals to support our homeless residents and the Barking and Dagenham Homeless Hostels.

Lorraine will make various appeals to our amazing community here in Barking and Dagenham throughout the coming months.

She will also post updates too.

The start of the Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre Soup Kitchen

Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre are launching a soup kitchen in partnership with Homeless Hostels Services for people living in emergency accommodation currently at four locations and owned by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council but this is a stand along project between both partners starting in January 2017.

Von Edonmi speaking on behalf of the council explained they have no issues with this not being a borough led project and supports its concept and hopes to come along.

This project is another bolt on to the existing volunteering programme together with calling on local support from residents to donate items of support homeless people staying in the emergency hostels who in many cases have lost everything and this generosity will give them a better chance of a new start. The distribution of donations, soup kitchen and volunteering is under the stick control of the hostel management with the Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre advertising for and offering placements of opportunities.

The food will hand out to the most needy, people with benefit sanctions, adverse weather provisions, rough sleepers, out of hours people affected by an emergency that means they need emergency accommodation.

These projects have been designed by Jon Gildersleeve and Paul Perry Hostel Service Manager who is responsible for all four hostels currently.

By using the hostels we won't be in competition with other groups and charities doing similar work within the borough, plus ours will always be a stand along partnership, controlled by Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre and Hostel Services and no 3rd party.

Through local sponsorship we are proud to announce Stephanie Okofe and John Samuel Estate Agents, Avril Platters and Studio 3 Arts are providing portions of hot soup with vegetables and sandwiches in sealed containers.

Stephanie explained. Since childhood I have always wanted to give back to the community, the poor, homeless and hungry.

Putting a smile on people’s faces as always been my mission and being a part of the volunteering centre gives me an opportunity to fulfil my mission in life.

Latest News

Mayor visits Barking soup kitchen in October 2017

Md Ismael

THE ENERGETIC TEAM at the Barking & Dagenham Volunteer Bureau have been supporting a considerable number of local causes. Now, thanks to member Jon Gildersleeve, the Bureau has joined with local partners to support homeless residents in the borough through a monthly soup kitchen based at Brocklebank Lodge in Becontree.

On the latest occasion, the team and local homeless people were graced with the presence of the First Citizen, Councillor Abdul Aziz – ceremonial mayor of the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.

In attendance at the soup kitchen alongside residents and hostel staff were Barking & Dagenham Volunteer Bureau (BDVB) CEO Joan Brandon, Lynne Hopkins, Stephanie Okafo, author of the Dagenham Property Blog and Managing Director of John Samuel Estates. Okafo and local business Avril’s Platters have been generously providing the food for the soup kitchen.

Mayor Abdul Aziz extended an invitation for residents, staff and volunteers to visit him at his chambers for food and tea and commented, “I’m proud of the work being done by the BDVB to ease the difficulties faced by our residents. We have a big hearted community and we all work together to make a difference. It is very inspiring to see how everyone has united to support a cause which is very close to my heart and I’m pleased to be able to be here today to meet everyone. You’re all doing a wonderful job.”

Newly appointed Soup Kitchen Co-ordinator Emdad Rahman added, “I’d like to thank Jon Gildersleeve and Joan Brandon for the faith shown in appointing me to this volunteer role – it is indeed a great honour. Joan was my trainer when I became a London 2012 Ambassador, and the backing of people like her means a lot to me. Homelessness is a blight on our society and I’m confident that we can all unite to raise awareness of the challenging issues facing some of our most vulnerable fellow human beings.”

Homeless Hostels Residents visits

Mayor Councillor Aziz

Homeless Friends from local hostels visited the Mayor. The trip was organised by the Barking & Dagenham Volunteer Bureau.

We met Mayor Abdul Aziz, his advisor and guest. We discussed issues causing homeless, a lunch date and also support for homeless friends during the festive period.

We thank the Mayor for his time and look forward to seeing him again.

Two amazing volunteers who are tasked to sort through the generous donations from LBBD staff and the public. Big thanks to Ron and Eugene.

The amazing thing is Eugene was staying at Butler Court as a homeless resident and felt he wanted to give something back as he had never experienced homelessness until recently.

Ron a long serving volunteer from Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre for over 20 years was asked to sort through the clothing donation and at the same time enjoys a friendly chat with our residents and has struck up a great friendship with Eugene.

Tenants are served with there requests and leave with items hanging on hangers again donated by staff and members of the community.

Barking & Dagenham Mayoress Najma Aziz & Mayor Abdul Aziz gave me piping hot mouthwatering biriani to share with homeless friends at Brockelbank Lodge this Christmas.

Sadly, the Mayor and his family are grieving after losing a close family member in Pakistan yesterday evening.

Despite this personal tragedy they still cooked all this amazing food and literally left for the airport immediately after I left their residence as they are travelling to meet their family during this difficult time.

I shared this story with friends at Brocklebank Lodge who were overwhelmingly touched by this huge charitable act.

It is these selfless acts which continue to inspire me each day and it is no wonder that these grand people are serving Barking & Dagenham as its First Citizens.

I’ve been appointed by Joan & Jon to run the soup kitchen on behalf of the Barking & Dagenham Volunteering Bureau and if anyone would like to contribute food or sponsorship then do please let Emdas know in the new year by emailing at

Barking and Dagenham Soup Kitchen are seeking companies to help sponsor or donate to our monthly soup kitchen.

Due to limited funds we are only able to cater for the most needy and benefit sanction individuals and families staying in Barking and Dagenham Homeless Hostels.

Currently there are over 200 people staying in four homeless hostels in Barking and Dagenham.

Many go without a regular healthy meal and with your help we can do our bit.

If you are able to help either on an one off or regular donation please contact Stephanie Akofe who is a volunteer for Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre in addition to being the soup kitchen sponsor through her company John Samuel Estate Agents through the link below.

Thank you so much to our Barking and Dagenham Somali Women friends

who kindly donate fresh sandwiches to Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre Soup Kitchen Homeless Hostels partnership today.

There kindness is being extended further with promises of regular supplies.

Zahra Ibrahim from the group was more than happy
to offer this support to those less fortunate.

Please check out there community work here in
our borough.

Thanks Deqo, nabeela and Yurub. you're champs!

Our Somali ladies who have made sandwiches this week for Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre soup kitchen.

Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre are so grateful to the offer from Lidl's and partnership working with their Chadwell Heath store, Barking and Dagenham Homeless Hostels, Avril Platters, Studio 3 Arts, John Samuel Estate Agents, Early Invention dept and Passenger Transport of LBBD

Providing food to the most needy homeless residents staying in Council Hostels, Get Together Groups for the Elderly who are isolated & to families that are experience material deprivation and lack of financial resources some are at risk of Eviction.

BDVB partner with LIDL to support homeless residents

BDVB partner with LIDL to support homeless residents

Muhammad Talha

The Barking & Dagenham Volunteering Bureau (BDVB) are delighted to announce a working partnership which sees supermarket chain LIDL joining John Samuel Estates and Avril’s Platters to support four local homeless hostels.

The partnership will officially be launched on 1st May 2018.

BDVB volunteers will be working with LIDL Chadwell Heath and the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham to collect surplus food for the local homeless hostels, Barking & Dagenham Centre Get Together groups as well as lonely, isolated and very low income families living in the Borough.

Barking & Dagenham Volunteering Bureau Homeless soup kitchen co-ordinator Emdad Rahman commented: “This is great news and we are delighted to welcome our local LIDL store as partners in our collective efforts to help ease homelessness and poverty. Thank you to Jon Gildersleeve and the team at BDVB for the hard work put in.”

Another surplus food donation from Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre Soup Kitchen, Avril's Platters Stephanie JohnSamuel Homeless Hostels and Lidl Great Britain partnership.

Today presentation of a crate of goodies to Mr M one of the hostels residents by Ricki one of the hostel support staff.

More Surplus Food

Another donation from Lidl's

The Barking & Dagenham Volunteering Bureau (BDVB) supporting four local homeless hostels, vulnerable isolated and lonely older people in Barking and Dagenham together with low income families in LBBD.

“Huge thanks to the council’s film office, Film LBBD for arranging a large donation of clothing to Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre who have passed this kind donation to the borough’s homeless hostels to give out to the most needy residents. The clothes are from the film "Blinded by the Light" which will be out next year.”

Barking Football Club are supporting us

As the homeless soup kitchen lead on behalf of BDVB I’m delighted to announce that we have a new working partnership with Barking Football Club and LIDL to support homeless and hard up friends in our borough.

I met with Barking FC chairman Rob O’Brien today to rubber stamp this.

I’m really proud of this partnership and it’s an example of uniting to support the community.

Massive credit to Jon Gildersleeve for directly helping me make this connection.

I’m requesting everyone to please share this post and help spread what we are trying to achieve.

Read why Rob O'brien chairman of Barking FC wanted to get involved in helping homeless people.

More surplus food donations from Lidls Heathway store feeding a couple of most needy residents this week.

To help the local community in Barking and Dagenham to understand the affects of homelessness we have reached out to local schools and colleges and asked them to provide non perishable food, toiletries and good quality clothing that will be useful to homeless families.

You may have children's toys, clothes or buggies that would really help some of the young mums or low income families who have just had a new baby.

Our thanks goes out to Robert Clack School for there continuous support especially around Christmas time with these hampers and given out by the hostel staff who love to go the extra mile and dress up to spread Christmas cheer.

We would also like to thank Donna Rose and the staff at William Bellamy School who hold fund raising events and take in donations throughout the year.

Plus without the added support from the fantastic members of the community who visit the hostels with there donations daily the residents cannot thank you enough.

Working Partners Joan Brandon Lynne Hopkins and Paige from Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre with Homeless Hostels Manager Paul Perry.

Photograph by Archant/Barking and Dagenham Post

Barking and Dagenham Homeless Hostels Staff with Manager Paul Perry and Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre Patron Jon Gildersleeve.

Tesco Stores PLC together with Major Stephen Noble from the Salvation Army donated supplies of non perishable foods today.

Alison Cormack dropped off about 4/5 large bags of quality used clothing to the shelter in Boundary Road on the week of the 24th April.

These clothes included some brand new men’s suits.

The clothes were very gratefully received by the hostel team.

We will continue an ongoing programme of clothing donation from our site staff and I shall be contacting the hostel when we have another ample collection.

The clothing donation were kindly donated by Bouygues UK staff based at the Weavers Quarter site.

Big thanks to Athena and Michael Wear from there first aid company in Dagenham for there kind donation to be added to Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre monthly soup kitchen fund for homeless people staying in hostels around the borough.

Please support our Christmas Food appeal for the families staying in the homeless hostels in Barking and Dagenham over Christmas.


List of non-perishable food

Cheese or peanut butter crackers

Beef jerky



Fruit cups

Granola bars

Power bars

Cereal bars


Single serving soups (with pull tab openings)


Tomato juice

Packaged nuts

Fruit snacks

Dried fruits

Peanut butter

Any kind of pasta

Spaghetti sauce

Canned vegetables and fruit (with pull top openings)

Macaroni and cheese

Individually packaged crisps , pretzels

Boxed drinks and juices

Vienna sausages (with pull top lids)

Pop tarts

Individual packets of oatmeal

Plastic spoons

Canned Tuna

Bags of rice or beans

Any donations of these types of items would be greatly appreciated.

Lorraine Ridley our donations coordinator is running this scheme and once your box or bag has 12 items in with non perishable food please contact her to arrange the drop of point in either Barking or Dagenham.

Once agaIn Lidls provided surplus food from one of their local stores to help some needy families today. Our thanks goes out to Rob O'brien who spared time on his birthday to collect and drop off the food.

Rob who is the chairman of Barking Football Club is offering children a special price to attend one the clubs home league games plus 2 sessions at the clubs soccer schools at a very reasonable price of £10.

To take advance of this please contact Rob directly 07961323320

Massive thanks to everyone at Thamesview School for there donation of non perishable food going to a homeless hostel near the school in Barking this week.

Don’t forget if you or your children’s school in Barking and Dagenham want to donate non perishable food please contact our donations coordinator Lorraine Ridley

Thank you to Hunters Hall School Dagenham for your lovely donation of non perishable food for the most needy homeless residents staying in homeless hostels in Barking and Dagenham today kindly arranged with Lorraine Ridley donations coordinator from Barking and Dagenham Volunteer Centre.

This was in reply to our 12 days of Christmas appeal to all schools within LBBD

There is still time for your school to donate or speak to your childs school to take part.

Thank you in advance.

A fantastic donation of mattress toppers from Duane and Park Plaza Victoria London Hotel for caring about rough sleepers and the Homeless in Barking and Dagenham.

Duane seen here with a most gratefull hostels manager Paul.

For the best hotel deals contact

Park Plaza Victoria London
239 Vauxhall Bridge Road
London SW1V 1EQ

+44 3334 006140

Thank you Lidl at the Robin Hood and Heathway for your contributions to help the homeless in the community.

Thank you once again to Lidl at Robin Hood and Heathway for the food for some of the most vulnerable in the borough.