Meet our core team

Everyone who works with us, is a volunteer. 

Community Embrace UK isn’t just a project for the community. It is the community.

Ellen

Hi, my name is Ellen. I’ve been with Community Embrace from the beginning.

I’m involved in the preparation and setting up for events, and I also cook meals for CE events.

It’s a wonderful team to be part of, and I always look forward to making an impact in the lives of all who access the pantry.

Freda

My name is Freda. I am a proud member of Community Embrace. I joined in 2018 and what an amazing journey we’ve had as a team!

I enjoy collecting, sorting, distributing and occasionally help at the pantry during busy times.

What an amazing team and am very proud to be part of it.

Lisa

Hello everyone – I’m Lisa and being with Community Embrace brings lots of fond memories and great exposure.

I first joined during lockdown in 2020 when our operation became a frontline service and demand for food was 7 days a week. I supported with collections, sorting and distributions and it is always a blessing to see the smiles on the faces of the families and their kids when we dropped off the food parcels.

I am looking forward to the next phase and what this new project brings along to our community xx

Lesley

Hi all, I am Lesley and I joined the organisation right at the start of the pandemic.

I first heard of Community Embrace UK through a Facebook post which was requesting for volunteer drivers. I saw this as an opportunity to give back but also utilise my spare time to do something positive over the weekends.

My role was diverse from food collections, food deliveries and now mainly involved in events, preparing gift packages for fundraising raffles, Kati’s Gift hampers and home made cakes for auction during our events.

Its been a rewarding journey and an incredible team to work with.

Lara

I’m Lara and I first got involved with Community Embrace at the beginning of the lockdowns, when I saw a message on Facebook asking for volunteers to help. I ended up driving around Harlow and delivering boxes of food to the elderly and people isolating or needing support.

I was totally inspired by Herty and her vision for supporting the community around her.

Along with my 10 and 13 year old daughters, we have since enjoyed helping out at the food pantry, the Around the World Festival, and helping to prepare and serve food at the holiday kids camps and the Christmas party.

We’ve really enjoyed getting to know new people and being involved in something so positive and useful during what has been a difficult time for most people.

Next step is helping Herty to develop the Hygiene project in Harlow!

Connie

Hi my name is Connie, and I’m a registered Childminder and, parent and toddler group leader. I have been working in Harlow for 16 years, and been a member of Community Embrace for the past 4.5 years.

I started with food sorting during the pandemic and some background compliance work. I also supported the childrens work side for the organisation, from setting up craft activities, organising breakfast, fruit, vegetable, and treats distribution, and also celebrations.

I enjoy volunteering because it means I can help someone in need, and make them happier and contribute to making a difference.

I have the opportunity to be part of a lovely, kind, and supportive team who are friends for life. We are led by a hard-working, strong and inspirational leader.

Victoria

Hi, I’m Victoria, I love being a member of Community Embrace, working in the pantry and being a part of the events and planning team – it’s a feel good factor of how I spend my time.

Gifty

Hello, I am Gifty. My role at Community Embrace UK involves collecting surplus food from our sponsoring stores, and supporting with event planning.

My background is Human Resources and I love meeting and interacting with people.

Marina

Hi everyone, My name is Marina – a retired lecturer from Harlow College. I first connected with Herty at one of The Harlow Soup events and was inspired by her journey with Community Embrace UK, and joined the organisation in 2019.

I have since been involved in a number of activities – setting up, sorting at the pantry, baking cakes for events and deliveries to families during the pandemic. I enjoy giving and spending time with this wonderful team.

Kelly

My name is Kelly. I joined Community Embrace UK in 2019, where I have been on an amazing journey – from delivering food parcels during lockdown and operating from a garage, moving hubs twice, delivering Easter gifts to children, to the start of Kati’s gift, and now the launch of the Hygiene project.

The most rewarding part is making people smile again with the gift of my time and meeting inspirational people who are now my CE family.

Michael

My name is Michael. I have been with Community Embrace UK since 2015 when the first Around The World Food Festival was initiated in a small park in Shawbridge.

I was drawn to the sheer generosity exhibited by the community, which got me involved with the group and have since been a key member when it comes to all our major events such as the festival, the fundraising galas and the yearly Christmas food distribution.

Through a combined effort we worked tirelessly during the pandemic to collect and distribute food and items to the community. I’m incredibly proud and feel extremely rewarded being involved with this amazing charity group.

K

Well what can I say or where do I start? I am K and one of the founding ‘brains’ behind the formation of Community Embrace UK.

Its incredible to see how far this journey has come and the vision it holds for the future.

My role is unlimited – from setting up major events, making collections and now fully dedicated to ensuring the weekend pantry runs smoothly.

I am super proud of all the hard-work, dedication and commitment from the team and I know there is more to come for the community.

Thank you to everyone for supporting us.