Helping at Whitechapel Mission

Working visits to Whitechapel Mission

The Whitechapel Mission has been serving the homeless and marginalised for 141 years.  It was a Primitive Methodist foundation, arising from the home mission activities of one of the Methodists' greatest ministers, the Revd Thomas Jackson who worked in the East End of London for 56 years.  It includes a day centre, skills training and career advice, activity programmes and specialist support for complex needs. By encouraging each person to address the issues which caused their homelessness, it helps them to gain the skills and confidence to make lasting changes in their lives.

We believe everyone deserves a chance, regardless of their background, race or religion.

The Mission is open every day of the year and expects to see as many as 300 homeless and vulnerable men and women each day and this is done without public funding.

We know that we can, and are, making a positive and lasting difference to the homeless who ask for our help. For ten years or so teams have been helping from the Nene Valley Circuit.  If there are 5 Saturdays in a month then the fifth Saturday is our morning to staff the kitchen.

How does it work?  Each morning (7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year) a group of volunteers arrives to cook breakfasts from 5.45 am, which means that our team from the Nene Valley Circuit get up at around 3 am, leave the area by 4 to arrive for this – nice on a summer’s morning but in the fog in the Autumn or when it snows it is different !  Of course the ‘clients’ sleep in doorways in all weathers so we remember them as we are tempted to complain.  Our teams comprise 6 - 8

   Breakfast includes: cereals, porridge, eggs, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, hash browns, mushrooms, beans    with toast and/or bread and butter and as much tea/coffee/hot chocolate as you can drink with umpteen spoonsful of sugar!  When the weather is reasonable they arrive in a steady steam, when it’s bad they all arrive the second the door is opened so service is hectic ! 

Quantities are beyond normal imagination – 16 loaves of bread to toast first, fried eggs bacon & sausage for 300, plus endless requests “I want a soft egg” or “a very well done one” – “do you have a bag”, “I need some socks/a shirt/a pair of size 8 shoes/ some jeans/ some gloves/ a waterproof coat . . . .

 

The Mission has shower and washing facilities, seemingly endless soap towels, razors, toothbrushes & toothpaste, an enormous clothing store to meet needs and the facility to charge mobile phones. From the moment of arrival until about 11.30 when the kitchen floor has been washed it is more or less non-stop.

Then we come home – some sleep on the journey (not the drivers!).

We are there 4 or 5 times a year (if there is no 5th Saturday in December we always provide a team somewhere between Christmas and the New Year).

For information see the link www.whitechapel.online or contact our Raunds Church who coordinate our teams.  What is your excuse for not joining us on one of our visits in 2019?


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