Van volunteers will arrive at 6am and get everything packed into the van which is guided by the experienced volunteers and overseen by the Operations Manager. Once the van is packed up, we then drive to each of our four designated stops around inner city Brisbane. At each stop, a lightweight folding table is placed in front of the two key service areas - sandwiches and fruit and coffee and hot beverages, creating not only a place for you to hand over the items requested, but also a safe COVID distance between you and the friends we are serving. Disposable gloves, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitiser are also provided for good hygiene. The service provides a nutritious breakfast and connection to those friends in need who utilise the service. Usually, the van arrives back at HQ around 8.30am. The van is then emptied, cleaned and the urns and sandwich tubs are cleaned. Volunteers are usually on their way by around 9am.
Sandwich teams arrive at our HQ early in the morning, usually around 6.30am. They make a selection of sandwiches for our friends on the street, which usually takes 1.5 - 2 hours. There's usually a lot of laughter coming from the kitchen as they work! After finishing what's required for the day, they do a quick clean up before heading off.
We have two main areas to volunteer in - sandwich making and van shifts. Sandwich making happens Monday - Friday at our HQ in teams. Our van goes out with 2-3 volunteers, 7 days a week. There are two areas on the van, sandwiches and fruit and coffee and hot beverages.
If you're over 18 then you certainly can!
You will! We always provide information documentation before your first shift, but we believe the best way to learn is on the job! We will roster you on for a training shift, and always ensure that one of our experienced team is there to help and guide you.
Those volunteering on the sandwich teams don't have any personal contact with those we serve, but of course do a great service for them! Our van volunteers serve a number of people every morning who are either homeless or in need.
We have a tiered COVID plan for different phases of restrictions. Volunteers should always check in using the QR code upon arrival and use good hygiene practices. The team will inform you as extra precautions are needed.
You will always be with other volunteers, sandwich making happens in teams and the van will always have a minimum of two volunteers.
Please wear something comfortable with closed in shoes - sneakers are fine. You will be moving around, so best to wear something casual and comfortable. We provide you with an apron to wear over your clothing.
Our van shifts start at 6am at HQ and generally finish around 9am. The hours for our sandwich teams vary depending on the team, but they generally fall between 6.30am - 8.30am.
Most of our volunteers are on a regular roster once a month, but some are more frequent. Have a chat with the team at HQ about your ideal and we'll do our best to arrange it.
We understand that things come up and occasionally you might be unable to make a shift. You can always let our team at HQ know if you are unable to come and they will organise a replacement. As much notice as you can give is always appreciated.
The numbers vary but usually around at least 70 on any given day.
Absolutely! We always appreciate donations of instant coffee, long life milk, packet soup, coffee sachets, muesli bars, packeted snacks (chips, biscuits, fruit). We will gladly accept these items, but if you call HQ before donating, we can tell you if we have specific needs. Please refer to our Donate page for more information.
We are thankful for the many people who give one off or recurring donations through our website. We also partner with a few key sponsors like The Chappell Foundation and Clayton UTZ. We have connections with several companies, schools and organisations and have a myriad of sponsorship and donation opportunities.
We would love to speak to you if you'd like to get involved, please contact us for more information.
The Coffee Brigade was founded in 1970, so we have a proud 50 year heritage of serving those in need in Brisbane. Louisa Toogood started the service when she noticed those in need around the city. Her legacy lives on decades later! Please see Louisa's full bio on our About Us page.