Your Frequently Asked Questions Answered!

Has registration for 2023 opened yet?

YES, please visit the Registration page. What we need more than anything are volunteers who drive & can deliver baskets.

Please note that each adult must register separately.

What Are The Advantages of Delivering Baskets?

You get to participate during the day but also get to see the delight on people’s faces as they receive the basket. There will be some heart tugging moments when you see the smile on a little childs face!

– You also get guaranteed parking

– Delivery Drivers are released earlier, from 1pm for WAVE 1 to 3pm for WAVE 4.

Can I Just Deliver Baskets (Santa Sleighs)?

YES we’d need you to arrive at the venue between 12 – 3pm on 23rd December. To register as a Santa Sleigh & JUST deliver baskets please click here.

What is a WAVE number?

We organise volunteer drivers (does not apply for Delivery Only drivers) into 4 WAVE’s so that we can release drivers for delivery based on how far they are travelling. You can see from the image below which Boroughs are in which wave.

Is Basket Brigade UK as registered charity?
YES, we’re delighted to say that on 3rd October 2022 Basket Brigade UK became a registered UK charity, charity number 1200548.

Can I help organise Basket Brigade UK?
Absolutely and it’s a great way to give back, develop your leadership skills and meet other amazing people. To find out more about the roles we have available and apply to be part of this years Leadership Team, please visit our Help Organise page.

What does each basket contain? 
Each basket has all the raw ingredients for a Christmas dinner:
Roasting Tin, Potatoes, Carrots, Brussels Sprouts, Parsnips, Stuffing, Gravy, Satsumas, Custard, Xmas pudding, Mince Pies, Xmas crackers and then either a Frozen Chicken or a Frozen Nut Roast.

How many people do the baskets feed? 
We offer 3 different size baskets: 1-2, 3-4 & 5-6.

What size is each basket? 
We offer 3 different size baskets for different size families, so they vary slightly. The biggest of the baking trays we use is 42cm * 28cm. Height wise, again this varies on the size but up to approximately 30 cm tall.

Do you cater for vegetarians? 
Yes. We offer 2 options for our baskets, Meat (frozen chicken) or Vegetarian (frozen Quorn roast).

How many baskets can I fit in my car? 
An average boot will easily take 4-6 and a back seat would take 3-4.
Bear in mind, the baskets don’t stack as they are wrapped in cellophane & the top of the baskets have delicate items such as mince pies & crackers.

Why is there a minimum donation for volunteers?

We do very much appreciate that volunteers are donating their time for the day and that times are particularly challenging.

There are 3 key reasons:
– Every year 30% of people who register don’t show, causing additional work and meaning a lot of people can’t attend that wanted to, we hope having a minimum donation will reduce this
– Your time is crucial to our success, for which we are extremely grateful, and we know that you’ll appreciate that funds are also vital to being able to purchase the supplies
– We believe that those that are committed to Basket Brigade and understand the request to donate are also those that want to deliver and that’s what we need more than anything

Can I add someone else to my registration or register on behalf of more than one person? 
Whilst it’s possible to add children (under 16) to your registration, each adult must register separately. This makes the check-in process easier on the day.

Do we need to register our attendance before we arrive?
YES. Via
We have a capacity limited and every year we are around 50% oversubscribed. We are always looking for more delivery drivers, after all without them we can’t deliver the baskets.
Registration will close on 16th December (unless we reach capacity before)

How many volunteers do you need on the day?
It’s all down to the number of delivery drivers we require, with 1,500 baskets to deliver, 4 baskets per driver that’s 375 drivers. Approximately only 1/3rd are delivery drivers, so that’s over 1,000 volunteers!

So please register your attendance and let your family and friends know! In order that we can deliver all the 1,500 baskets we are keen to encourage those that can make deliveries.

Can we bring friends on the day?
Only if they’ve already registered themselves.

Unfortunately if we reach capacity before the day we’ll be unable to accept people who haven’t registered on the day, so please encourage everyone you know who would like to come to register as early as possible.  We want to feed at least 1,500 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 (under 16s) 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!

As there are a lot (500 – 1000) people on site, we’d suggest the minimum age would be 5 years old. We cannot accept pushchairs, buggies etc on site as there are simply too many people.

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 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 create human food chains to bring the food into the venue and some of the items can be really cold!
You’ll probably spend some of the day outside, so please bring a jacket. We have a cloakroom facility for when you don’t need it.

Is there someone to leave any jackets/coats or bags?
Yes, we provide a cloakroom facility. We just ask for a donation of £1 per item to help raise funds for the event. For health & safety reasons, no items can be left around the hall.

What happens if I can only come for a few hours in the morning?
The morning is the busiest time, with lots of jobs to be done including the basket packing, so many hands will make light work. However, what we need more than anything are people willing & able to deliver baskets.

Please be aware, that if you are in our main car park you’ll be blocked in until the end of the event, so if you wanted to leave early and are NOT delivering baskets we’d recommend finding your own parking.

Can I just come and deliver baskets without being there in the morning?
YES, we’d need you to arrive at the venue between 12 – 3pm on 23rd December.

I’m coming with my partner, can we do deliveries together? 
Yes, we allocate the addresses to each driver and it is then up to the driver to decide who they deliver with. We do recommend that when you’re delivering you are at least in a pair, so what if you’re on your own and want to do deliveries…

I’m driving on my own and have said i’d do deliveries but i don’t want to do deliveries on my own, is there someone who can come with me?
Yes, there are people in the opposite position who want to do deliveries but don’t have a car, so we’ll make an announcement on stage and help to match you up.

Do I need a car?
It is not necessary to have a car, although we very much encourage as many as possible to drive and offer to do deliveries, as without enough drivers to deliver baskets we can’t get the baskets to the people who need them. 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?
You’ll need your QR code, this will have been emailed & text to you a few days before the event, assuming you’ve registered. You’ll use your QR code to quickly check-in, you’ll then be issued a coloured wristband and asked to check in any coats & bags into the cloakroom. After that, you’ll be assigned to a team and the fun will begin. 
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:

07:15 – Car Park will open
08:00 – Doors will open – to avoid queuing outside in the cold
08:30 – Registration opens
08:30 – Food deliveries start to arrive
08:30 – Unpacking food deliveries into main room
09:00–14:00 – Basket packing, card writing, ribbon making
13:00 – WAVE 1 drivers released
14:00 – WAVE 2 drivers released
14:30 – WAVE 3 drivers released
15:00 – WAVE 4 drivers released
14:30– Address collection and Venue clean up
15:00 – Celebrate & clean up
16:00 – Non deliver drivers now able to leave car park
17:00 – FINISHED

Based on our experience, most volunteers say they arrive home around 18:00 – 20:00 depending upon the number of deliveries.

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, if you’re unsure please ask at the one of the Helpers in the Red and Green Santa hats. They will direct you, but it’s important to remember to be flexible!

Where is the venue for Basket Brigade?

Please visit the Venue page for full details on this years venue.

Is there car parking at the venue?
Unfortunately we can only offer parking at the venue for those drivers that are willing to deliver baskets (as that’s what we need more than anything).
We will do our best to source additional parking will be available using nearby premises, more details on these will be shared via our Facebook Group nearer the time.

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. The prices are very good, so please, please don’t bring food instead support Basket Brigade by buying food & drinks from the Cafe.

Are lockers provided?
No. However, we do offer a cloakroom facility, for a £1 donation, as jackets & bags will not be permitted to be left in the main room.
Basket Brigade UK does not accept responsibility for personal or valuable items. These need to be kept with you at all times.

Can we bring our own iPods or music?
You could, but this is unnecessary and you wouldn’t hear the instructions from the stage. Our AV partner, Altitude AV, provides the sound on the day, pumping out the music to keep us all energised and having fun.

How many families will I be allocated for delivery?
During registration you can state how many baskets you’d like to deliver. If you’ve not delivered before, we generally recommend a maximum of 5 baskets. On the day, you’ll receive an email & text message with the details of your addresses.

Each year we are humbled by those who individually deliver lots of baskets; some set off with an entire van full!

What happens if the family isn’t home, or they no longer live at the address?
Instructions are given during the day on how to complete deliveries, including what happens when someone isn’t in.

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.

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.

The key point is that all our baskets are delivered anonymously, so we ask that people say very little, in fact simply that they have a delivery for X. If asked for further details, you can say that you’ve been told there is a card within the basket with more details.

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.

I’ve selected a particular borough to deliver to, is this where i’ll be going?
We try to match a drivers requested boroughs to recipient addresses. Unfortunately, it’s normally the case that we get a lot more addresses of recipients than drivers available, so we ask that you’re flexible to help ensure as many families as possible receive their baskets.

I can’t make the day but I want to do something, how can I help?
There are many different ways to take part, including before the event. This page, Take Part, explains the different ways you can take part, including participating in our online Auction.

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. Some suppliers, see Our Supporters, provide some items for free or discounted, but sadly most of the basket contents have to be bought. Therefore it’s vital that we raise as much money as possible to feed as many families as possible. You can help with this by participating in our Online Auction, donate or perhaps your company would be interested in sponsoring an item.

How do we know of the families in need of a basket?
We have a database of over 250 small to large organisations including those supporting single parent families, disabled, elderly, vulnerable, mental health, ex-services and homeless. These organisations will have worked with the recipients 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 1,500 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 £20! Just imagine the gift you can give for the cost of three cups of coffee! We accept donations throughout the year, so please dig deep and also encourage your family, friends and colleagues to donate too.

How do I donate to Basket Brigade?
Please go to the donate page and give as much as you can afford. Just £20 feeds a family of four! Thank you! You can also help raise money by participating in our online auction.

What happens to the money I donate?
Over 90% of the money raised goes towards buying the contents of the baskets, not many charities can say that! Sadly, there is a small amount that’s needed for administration, website costs, insurance, accounting costs, charity fees etc.

All our team, including our Charity Trustees, are volunteers and donate their time, skills and resources for free to Basket Brigade UK.

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 basket, arranging the food deliveries, coordinating with the venue, assisting the organisers with odd jobs.

Visit our Take Part, page to learn more about the different ways you can make a difference.

For any other queries, please complete our Contact form.