Combined Challenge

Serving Breakfast

Do you have a large number of volunteers wishing to get involved and make a difference? Too many for a single Challene? Why not book them all and have a Combined Challenge.

The Breakfast Challenge is currently the most popular form of volunteering at the Whitechapel Mission. After preparing and cooking breakfast for as many as 300 people, these breakfasts need to be served. Served to people who are, in the main, very grateful for your efforts and may have not eaten since yesterdays breakfast. A very rewarding experience and an opportunity to meet people from the streets in a positive and meaningful way. We will need 8 and 10 of your volunteers on site by 5:45am to start preparing and cooking breakfast.

The Clothing Challenge With over a 150 people a day using our shower facilities and each and every one of them is looking for a change of clothing. Many others are trying to build a wardrobe of clothing as they attempt to rebuild their lives. As a result there is a constant need for clean, used clothing to be sorted, measured and sized and hung, ready for distribution.

The Gift Sorting Challenge We serve over 250 breakfasts each and every day, and sometimes as many as 300. Many of the items used for breakfast have to be purchased, but many others are donated and especially at Harvest and Christmas time.

Depending on the time of year, these teams could be sorting:

  • food donated at harvest/Christmas, checking the dates, and condition of the packaging and either putting the items on shelves for immediate use, or putting into trays for storage for a later date.
  • Toietries and gifts donated at Christmas.

We require 91,000 toothbrushes a year, 95,000 razors, 25,000 tubes of toothpaste and 20,000 bars of soap. All of this needs sorting and storing.

A combined challenge needs to be a team of people of no less than 20 people and no more than 30 people. 24 is a good number and will keep all 24 volunteers working for the 6 hours of the challenge. A team of only 20 will struggle to keep up and a team of 30 will find times when they are looking for another job to do. We cannot accommodate larger groups in the kitchens for both health & safety reasons, and also to ensure the challenge is meaningful and enjoyable. These teams are responsible for ensuring the continued breakfast services of The Whitechapel Mission.


We will ensure that there are always staff to supervise/assist. Our kitchens have been designed to be a safe environment to work and have a positive introduction to London's homeless. The open daycentre opens at 6am and closes at 11am each day and we will be request that your team are on-site by 5:45am latest as this is a team building challenge and it is a better experience if all the team can arrive together. We do have a car park available for your vehicles (and you may request parking at the time you book the challenge). We do not know how many homeless will arrive on any given day. It may be as few as two hundred or as high as three hundred, but we feel that if there is only one person knocking on our door then we should open that door and make them welcome.

Serving Breakfast

Serving Breakfast

We require all remaining volunteers onsite by 8:45am to start the Clothing Challenge and Gift Sorting. If you have an interest in getting people in your organization to work more effectively as a team, would like an icebreaker to integrate new members into your group or would just like to organize a fun day out, then a Whitechapel Mission Team Challenge experience could be just what you are looking for.

A Whitechapel Mission Team Challenge offers an unusual and free alternative to the myriad of outdoor 'corporate training' days now on offer. Your employees will join regular Whitechapel Mission staff - making a real difference for some of London's homeless while working as a team and having fun. We do not charge volunteering groups to get involved with our volunteering program, but many choose to financially support us and our priority corporate supporters will always get preference when it comes to volunteering dates and booking.


5:45am - Briefing

6am - The first task of the day from 6am will be to prepare breakfast. This requires the preparation and cooking of bacon, sausages, beans, tomatoes, eggs, mushrooms and hash browns, buttering of bread and making of toast. We will also make and serve over 400 cups of tea and 600 cups of coffee. Tea and Coffee is made by the individual cup and upon request. This is a chance for a smiling face to say good morning to our homeless visitors and start their day on a positive.

At 8am, some of the team will begin to serve breakfast, while others continue to cook more breakfasts and others will collect plates, wipe tables and wash up. There will be a rush at 8am for breakfast, which will last for about 20-30 minutes and then continue for approximately the next hour and a half at a steady rate.

Throughout the morning, we will be giving out towels, soap, razors, shampoo and toothbrushes.

At 10am, our kitchens close for the day and we can begin to clean the kitchens down and prepare it for the next day.

By 11am, the daycentre will close and we will begin the big clean-up. The Dinning area will need to be swept and mopped. The toilets will be cleaned and hosed by staff members.

By 11:30, we should be able to finish for the day.

If you are interested in a challenging volunteering experience with the Whitechapel Mission, please contact our office on 03000 111 400 or view our volunteering diary.