Congratulations to Kristan Payne BEM!

2nd January 2023

The founder of Borehamwood Foodbank and our first Chair, Kristan Payne has been awarded a BEM (British Empire Medal) in King Charles’ first ever New Year’s Honours List, in recognition of her longstanding charitable work.  

Along with a small number of other people, she recognised that many residents in our community were struggling with food insecurity and deprivation. Her strong sense of compassion and humanity drove her to help others in less fortunate circumstances.  This selfless desire to assist others resulted in her visionary creation of our Foodbank in 2013.  

The Borehamwood Foodbank has witnessed phenomenal growth over the past 10 years, and throughout this period we have been able to improve the lives of many thousands of people in our community. None of this would have happened without the caring dedication and enthusiasm of Kristan.

Kristan said: “I was shocked but thoroughly delighted to receive this award. I am very aware that without the full support of St Teresa’s Church and the trustees and volunteers the formation of the Borehamwood Foodbank would have been impossible. I am proud to have played my part in this and that it is still going strong after almost ten years of service to Elstree and Borehamwood. It goes without saying that we hoped by now to be unnecessary but sadly with the present climate the Foodbank is busier than ever. The Foodbank has strengthened the Community as local people, businesses, schools and places of worship all donate to help their neighbours in need.

Soon after we started we realised that just providing food was not enough. The full range of toiletries and household goods were needed and when food, such as pasta, was returned to us, we found that help towards fuel to cook and heat homes was also essential. The Foodbank has risen to this challenge as well as the provision of new school uniforms and shoes, our surviving winter projects, CAB benefits advice and much more.

For me personally one of my greatest achievements and joys was the formation of our Family Lunches from the start. We were well ahead of the curve in this, and it is still unusual to have included the whole family, not just the children. Holiday hunger is a real issue for many ,and parents often skip meals to provide for the children. It took some persuasion to get parents to eat too. We combined a hot two course meal with an hour of crafts and activities for all ages and it was wonderful to see families develop as they sat and ate together. Being creative is good for our wellbeing and raises our self-esteem. We also sent families home with food for the week. I shall never forget the look of sheer delight when one boy spotted a box of cereals in his bag. You really would have thought it was Christmas!

We stayed open throughout the pandemic thanks to our dedicated teams and excellent hygiene practices.

I have been deeply touched by the kind words acknowledging my work and all I can say is Thank you. I have gained far more than I ever gave.”

We are all very proud of Kristan and the work that she started at our Foodbank all those years ago.  


Many congratulations to Kristan for receiving this most deserved accolade!

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