During August 2021, deverellsmith spent a week supporting the Whitechapel Mission initiative by volunteering at the centre in East London.
The Whitechapel Mission has been helping Londoners to help people who are rough sleeping since 1876, meeting the specific needs of each man and woman who walks through their doors. They create a space of warmth and safety by offering food, water, clothes, showers, and a life centre – where they can gain valuable skills and support that will aid them in returning to life off the streets.
Each team was split into two groups and tasked with different responsibilities: the breakfast challenge and sorting donated clothes. The breakfast team kicked off the morning at 5.45am and were tasked with helping prepare, cook and serve breakfast to the beneficiaries. The clothes sorting group joined later at 8.45am and were tasked with sifting through the large number of donated clothes and sorting into categories, hanging, measuring and folding each item and tagging with the correct size.
The Breakfast Challenge is currently the most popular form of volunteering at the Whitechapel Mission. After preparing and cooking breakfast for as many as 450 people, these breakfasts need to be served. Served to people who are very grateful for the Whitechapel Mission’s efforts and may have not eaten since yesterday’s breakfast. A very rewarding experience and an opportunity to meet people from the streets in a positive and meaningful way.
The centre has over a 150 people a day using the shower facilities and each and every one of them looking for a change of clothing. Many are trying to build a wardrobe of clothing as they attempt to rebuild their lives and identity. As a result, there is a constant need for clean clothing to be sorted, measured, and sized and hung, ready for distribution.
Once showered, the beneficiaries can pick their desired clothes from a ‘shop’ rather than just being handed items, to create a catalyst for self-confidence and independence.
deverellsmith thoroughly enjoyed the experience, not only did it provide a unique and special team building opportunity, but it allowed everyone to give back to the community and support those in need in a meaningful and fulfilling way.
Sarah McLoughlin, deverellsmith’s CSR ambassador and event organiser, commented ‘A massive thank you the Whitechapel Mission team for having us this Summer, it’s been one of the most memorable, enjoyable and gratifying experiences I’ve had the pleasure of doing. As the CSR ambassador, my mission is to spearhead the community outreach strategy and explore ways deverellsmith staff can have a purpose outside of our day-to-day responsibilities. I can’t wait to book in our next sessions at the centre and we will continue to support the Whitechapel Mission throughout the year anyway we can.’
Find out more here: https://whitechapel.org.uk/
About Sarah McLoughlin
Sarah is deverellsmith’s Ambassador for Corporate Social Responsibility, where she leads the charge on our philanthropy and sustainability strategies. Sarah is a highly-skilled consultant specialising in the recruitment of Land, Development and Delivery roles within the affordable housing sector. She began her career at deverellsmith as part of the Data & Research team, so her ability to gather market knowledge and excavate the highest quality candidates is second to none.
For further information, please contact:
Sarah McLoughlin, Consultant
020 3056 0291