Donation from Tring newlyweds makes for a Merry Christmas at DENS hostel

DENS aims to be the first port of call for people in Dacorum who are facing homelessness, poverty and social exclusion

By Holly Patel
Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 10:04 am

Residents at DENS' homeless hostel in Hemel Hempstead were treated to a special pizza night last week thanks to a generous donation from a newlywed couple.

Nina Cooke and Dan Jennings, from Tring, happily celebrated their wedding on Thursday, December 23, but due to covid cases in their wider family, they unfortunately had to cancel the reception.

A catered pizza van, due to provide food for reception guests, was one of the couple’s biggest, non-refundable purchases.

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Nina and Dan donated a catered pizza van, due to provide food for reception guests, to The Elms

As they didn’t want the food or money to go to waste, they kindly donated it to The Elms, a 44-bed hostel in Hemel Hempstead that temporarily houses local people facing homelessness.

Nina said: “It was actually Dan’s dad, Martin, who suggested the lovely idea that it goes to a homeless hostel instead.

“Dan works at Longdean School in Hemel and has a heart for the homeless, and I work for a charity in Chesham called Restore Hope that works with families facing crisis, so we both know the impact food has on those most in need in our community.

“We had both heard of DENS through our work circles and often hear about the amazing work they do, so we just put in the call and the rest is history!”

Donation from Tring newlyweds makes for a Merry Christmas at DENS hostel

Sean Fitzgerald, head of accommodation services at DENS, said: “We are so thankful for this exceptional gesture of kindness from Nina and Dan.

"All our residents had a great night, enjoying each other’s company, and of course, the delicious pizza.

“After such a hard 18 months for everyone, this has really lifted spirits and shows the support we have in the community. We look forward to welcoming the couple for a visit in safer times and wish them a happy Christmas and New Year.”

DENS aims to be the first port of call for people in Dacorum who are facing homelessness, poverty and social exclusion.

DENS integrated services include:

> Day Centre – providing a daytime community-based setting, providing expert 1-2-1 advice, where anyone is welcome to drop in, have a shower, a hot meal, some clean clothes, as well as some company.

> Open Space – providing a community space where people can socialise, be creative, develop their skills and seek advice.

> The Elms – a 44-bed hostel providing emergency and short-term accommodation

> DENS Resettlement service – supporting clients moving from the Elms into council, social housing or private rental.

> Move On Service – providing support for a move into more independent living in shared accommodation.

> Foodbank – providing emergency food parcels and household provisions.

> Social Enterprises – developing employability skills and self-confidence in a supportive environment, whilst also raising income.

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