The founder of Epping Forest’s largest emergency food agency has dedicated a prestigious award to all the tireless volunteers who work around the clock to deliver its vital service.

Pesh Kapasiawala and 3Food4U were awarded the BBC Essex ‘Make a Difference Volunteer award’ at a ceremony in Hatfield Peveral last Thursday.

The ceremony was hosted by radio presenters Dave Monk and Sonia Watson, with awards presented by sports promoter Barry Hearn.

It was attended by a host of celebrities and dignitaries including His Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Essex Jennifer Tolhurst, the first woman to be appointed to the office in the county.

Epping Forest Guardian: 3food4u volunteers Cherille and Jean with the award3food4u volunteers Cherille and Jean with the award (Image: 3Food4U)

Pesh congratulated “all our amazing volunteers who work tirelessly around the clock to provide the best service possible” and said “the award is for all the communities who have rallied around this vital service, including churches, schools, frontline agencies, businesses and community groups.”

Speaking to BBC Radio Essex the following morning, he said: “We all know volunteering is good for you, good for the soul. And to get an award for doing something you absolutely, passionately enjoy is just amazing.

“I was absolutely overwhelmed, overwhelmed to be nominated, overwhelmed to be there in the evening as a finalist, we were all winners last night. It's a big team effort.

“It all started in the first lockdown. I just felt there was a great need to support people unconditionally without a referral that the traditional foodbanks ask for. I wanted to provide people a service without judging without asking for paperwork. Treating and supporting people humanely with dignity and respect.”

Barry Hearn chose Pesh and 3Food4U because of the sustainable nature and massive impact of the charity, supporting more than 1,500 families a week.

3Food4U would be delighted to hear from you if your community group, church, school or business would like to work with it to support the community.

The charity continues to urgently need long-life food donations.

These can be dropped of at any of its community surplus hubs, Balgores Estate Agents in Loughton and Ongar or call 01992 842642 to arrange a collection.

The hubs are open as follows:

  • Monday: Waltham Abbey – 13 Sun Street - 11.30am to 1pm
  • Tuesday: Loughton – Loughton Club, 8 Station Road - 11.30am to 1pm
  • Wednesday: Chigwell Row – All Saints Church Hall, Romford Road - 5pm to 6.30pm
  • Thursday: Ongar – Zinc Arts Centre, High Street - 1pm to 2.30pm
  • Friday: Waltham Abbey – 13, Sun Street - 11.30am to 1pm

For further details, visit, email or call 01992 842642.