Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered!
Do we need to register our attendance before we arrive?
Yes. Please go to http://www.basketbrigade.org.uk/register/ and complete the sign up details. It is really important that we know how many we are expecting on the day, as that number determines the number of hampers we can make and deliver. Registration does close on Monday 18th December (unless we reach capacity before) so we can finalise our systems.
How many volunteers do you need on the day?
As we say, the more the merrier! We always need volunteers and we never turn anyone away as everyone is welcome! We estimate that we will need about 700 people, with at least 300 of those driving with vehicles and can do deliveries, so please register your attendance and let your family and friends know! In order that we can deliver all the 1,250 baskets we are keen to encourage those that can make deliveries, especially to East London to register.
Can we bring friends on the day?
Yes absolutely! You can bring as many friends and family as you like, as long as they’re pre-registered. We want to feed at least 1,250 families this year so we need hundreds of volunteers. Get them to register too, so we can work out how many families we can feed.
Can we bring children?
Children are welcome and we always have children of various ages attending every year. It’s a great way of teaching children about contribution and gratitude! They also make great helpers packing baskets and collecting the food items. All we ask is that their parents or legal guardians remain responsible for them during the day to look after their wellbeing.
What do we wear on the day?
It’s a very long and busy day, so please ensure that you are wearing comfortable clothes and shoes. It will be December 23rd so the weather will be unpredictable, we suggest you wear layers. Also bring a pair of gloves as we do human food chains to bring the food into the venue and some of the items can be really cold!
What happens if I can only come for a few hours in the morning?
Please still come, if only for a couple of hours. The morning is the busiest time with lots of jobs to be done including the basket packing; so many hands will make light work.
Can I just come and deliver baskets without being there in the morning?
Yes. We always need extra drivers and helpers for the deliveries so get there whenever you can, although we advise you arrive for noon. Please go to the Registration Desk upon arrival and tell someone you’ve just arrived to help with deliveries, as you may have missed the drivers announcement if you arrive late.
Do I need a car?
It is not necessary to have a car. Many volunteers turn up without a car in order to support those with cars. We arrange for people to deliver in teams so you will be able to support drivers on their deliveries.
What happens when we arrive at the venue?
First find the Registration Desk and either confirm your arrival or register your details. You will need to register for Health and Safety reasons. Instructions will be given from stage as the event gets going. If you arrive late, please make sure you go to the Registration Desk and then join in wherever needed.
What is the timetable for the event?
All the times below are approximate (please be flexible), but are based on our knowledge from previous events:
07:45 – Car Park will open
08:00 – Doors and Registration opens
08:15 – Food deliveries start to arrive
08:30 – Unpacking food deliveries into main room
08:30–13:30 – Basket packing, card writing, ribbon making
13:30–onwards – Address and basket collection for dispatching deliveries all over London
14:00 – Venue clean up and shut down
Based on our experience, most volunteers say they arrive home around 18:00.
Are there specific jobs to be done on the day?
Yes, there are lots of jobs that need doing and include:
- Unloading the food delivery vans & hand balling the food into the halls
- Sorting out the food holding areas
- Distributing food to the packers
- Packing the baskets
- Writing a Christmas card with a special message for each basket
- Cutting cellophane to cover each basket
- Making up bows for each basket – red for meat and green for vegetarian
- Manning the basket collection area & counting baskets
- Human chains to take the baskets to the holding areas
- Supervising the car park
- Helping with allocating addresses to drivers
- Being energetic
- Crowd assistance
There is always a job to be done, just ask at the Registration Desk, one of the Helpers in the Red and Green Santa hats or one of the main organisers in the High Vis Jackets. They will direct you, but it’s important to remember to be flexible!
Where is the venue for Basket Brigade 2017?
Please visit the Venue page for full details on this years venue.
Is there car parking at the venue?
We have parking for approximately 200 – 250 cars, so we’d encourage people to arrive for 8am. However the space could be limited, so it will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis.
Are refreshments available at the venue?
Yes. We have an amazing group of volunteers who provide hot and cold drinks, sandwiches and snacks. All profits made from the refreshments goes towards funding the Basket Brigade.
Are lockers provided?
No. The Basket Brigade does not accept responsibility for personal and valuable items. These need to be kept with you at all times. We will provide a Cloakroom facility, for a £1 donation, as jackets & bags will not be permitted to be left in the main room.
Can we bring our own iPods or music?
Yes, but this is unnecessary. Our regular AV supplier, Altitude AV, provides the AV on the day pumping out the music to keep us all energised and having fun.
How many families will I be allocated for delivery?
Instructions will be announced from the stage on the optimum number of baskets per regional area of London. Each year we are humbled by those who individually deliver lots of baskets; some set off with an entire van full! We’d hope that each driver can take between 2 – 6 baskets each.
What happens if the family isn’t home, or they no longer live at the address?
If the family isn’t in you can either leave it with a neighbour or somewhere safe and put a note through their door telling them about the delivery. If the person no longer lives there, which can and does occasionally happen when you are dealing with vulnerable families, then please use your initiative to donate the basket appropriately. Drop it off at another house near by or take it to a charitable organisation you know will accept the basket.
Where will I be delivering?
We have families all over London from the North, South, East and West, generally all within the M25 although we do get some nominations from further afield e.g. Essex, Kent and Surrey. If you are travelling a distance to be with us, know your route home to deliver along that, or deliver locally to the venue in N22.
What do we say when we knock on the door?
All of this will be explained fully on the day, so pay attention to the announcements from stage by our MCs.
I can’t make the day but I want to do something, how can I help?
Please complete our contact form and we will be able to let you know if you can help with anything. One very important way you can help is to participate in our online Auction. Please visit the Auction page to find the steps.
How are the funds raised?
Fundraising takes place throughout the year through activities facilitated by our Basket Brigade Leader, their team and the members of our community. None of our suppliers provide anything for free; as such every single penny we raise through events or donations goes to pay for the items in the basket. You can help with this by participating in our Online Auction, please visit the Auction page to find out more.
How do we know of the families in need of a basket?
We contact many small and large charitable organisations including those supporting single parent families, disabled, elderly, vulnerable, mental health, ex-services and homeless. These organisations will have worked with the receipants over the year and personally know their circumstances. As such we can be 99% assured that our basket is delivered to someone who really, really needs it!
If you would like to nominate a vulnerable or at risk family please complete our Recipient Nomination Form.
How many families will be receiving a basket this year?
Our goal is always to deliver 1,250 hampers, but this depends on the number of volunteers and how much funding we can raise. On the day we are able to announce the final figure.
How much does a basket cost?
To feed a family of four, each basket costs just £12! Just imagine the gift you can give for the cost of three cups of coffee! We accept donations throughout the year here, so please dig deep and also encourage your family, friends and colleagues to donate too. We are very grateful for any size donation we get.
How do I donate to Basket Brigade?
Please go to the donate page and give as much as you can afford. Just £12 feeds a family of four! Thank you! You can also help raising money by participating in our online auction, please visit our Auction page to find out how.
What happens to my donated money?
ALL money raised goes towards buying the contents of the hampers. Nothing is used for administration, packing, delivery or coordination. All our team are volunteers and donate their time, skills and resources for free to the Basket Brigade.
I don’t live in London, how can I get involved?
There are lots of behind the scenes jobs that need to be completed where your location does not matter. There is sourcing the food and other items for the hamper, arranging the food deliveries, coordinating with the venue, assisting the organisers with odd jobs. If you can spare time to help please complete our Contact Form and we’ll be in touch.
For any other queries, please complete our Contact form.