How we started

Discover the history of Colchester Foodbank.


Rev. Andrew Fordyce, vicar of St. Margaret’s Church, Monkwick, was used to people knocking on his door and asking if he had any food they could have. Later conversations with friends and colleagues made them realize that something had to be done to help people in need in Colchester, of whom there seemed to be an increasing number. The banks had just crashed and the economic situation looked set for an uncomfortable future.

Garages and bedrooms were used initially, and then parcels were made up by a small and dedicated team at the Big Yellow Storage, which very quickly became insufficient for the need. In 2009 an inaugural AGM was held at the Salvation Army Citadel, where volunteers were recruited and Colchester Foodbank was born. It moved to a small warehouse in Unit 9 at Moorside East Gates and within 3 years had already been outgrown, moving to Unit 33 in the hope that it would be big enough for our needs.

Whilst at Unit 33, the CEO Michael Beckett created a map of Colchester with hotspots where the majority of our clients came from. Trustees then approved the first local satellites at Greenstead and Monkwick, though the satellites at Brightlingsea and Wivenhoe were already established. As the need increased, satellites were installed in Rowhedge, New Town, Myland, Tiptree, Town Central and Highwoods.

To date we are now based at Unit 3 at The Tolgate Retail Park, courtesy of the Tollgate Partnership, where we have space enough to offer storage to partner organizations, Re-Focus, Tots2Teens and the Essex Uniform Exchange, with Armin Lange and Nikki Ranson taking over from Michael Beckett as co-directors.

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