RedTowerYoyk     RTTitle      

Red Tower York

Reopened Monday 16 October 2023

Café, Lunch and Food Supplies
All welcome, no referral needed

Food distribution: 10.30 to 12.30
Outside Café: 11.00 am to 12.30



The Red Tower delivers!

SINCE 2018, the Red Tower has been running a PAYF (Pay as you feel) café and distributed bags of groceries to local people with the food provided by a number of supermarkets. The Red Tower regularly welcomes over 60 visitors per week and provides an opportunity for agencies such as Citizens Advice to meet the public. The Red Tower funds craft activities and has raised grants and funding for other community activities. Ward funding and support from local stores like Waitrose have enabled us to do so much more.

Every week, volunteers turn out on Saturday and Sunday nights and Monday morning collecting from supermarkets and the food bags are put together on Sunday and Monday mornings in time for distribution. Every week the food provided is different and, in cases where there is insufficient fruit, for example, extra food is purchased to help provide as balanced nutrition as is possible. Some weeks, bunches of flowers are also available. All the staff are volunteers and offer a welcome to locals and visitors alike. We ask for a small contribution for drinks and food bags. This is vital for our survival as contributions are our main income stream. 

The food scheme provides, on average, 30 bags of food per week which equates to over £15,000 of food per year. Volunteer hours add up to over 1500 a year. Just the supermarket turkeys at Christmas were worth over £2000! 


The Red Tower is a Grade 1 listed building, and dates back to 1490. It is the only brick built tower on the medieval city walls. Originally built as a watchtower, it was part of a larger programme of improvements to the city’s defences ordered by Richard III and completed by his successor, Henry VII after Richard’s death at the Battle of Bosworth. The tower has been repaired on many occasions and having sat locked up and empty for years, it is now at the heart of a community initiative to create a community space for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Information thanks to