Young Vincentians Keep the Brekky Van Tradition Alive
Sydney Vinnies Youth and Young Adult Conference and Chatswood Youth Conference are serving up a hearty breakfast every Sunday morning to those in need.
“Breakfast is everything. The beginning, the first thing. It is the mouthful that is the commitment to a new day, a continuing life” – A.A. Gill
Brekky Van is one of the Sydney Vinnies Van Services and provides a great start to the day to those who need it. The service also provides a safe place, where people come together to chat, laugh, share, and connect.
The Young Adult Conference Members and volunteers who run this service have established strong connections with the people they serve. After a long pandemic-enforced break, members and are really excited to be back serving their communities bright and early every Sunday morning, with a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs, cereal, and the infamous ‘clicker system’ housing tea, coffee, Milo, and sugar.
Mornings start with a drive to Prince Alfred Park in Surry Hills. Once the van is parked and everyone has donned their bright orange vests, members and volunteers unload the barbeques and start cooking, taking great care to serve the food the way everyone likes it. As one young volunteer describes, “we make sure to cook the eggs and bacon, and make the coffee, just right for the people we serve. Sometimes that means burning the bacon, other times it means pouring the milk before the hot water in the coffee. We always try to serve those in need with respect and that means asking ‘how do you take your coffee?’ and ‘how do you like your eggs?”
Once the food is served, the conversation begins to flow. Sometimes members and volunteers come across familiar faces, and sometimes they meet new people and develop new friendships. Sometimes the conversations are pleasant and light; at other times, there are sad and difficult stories.
For those van visitors that need it, members and volunteers connect them with other Society services, or with their local Conference. Often, visitors to the Brekky Van need a visit from a Conference Member who can learn more about the person’s circumstances and support them by way of a voucher, or a referral to crisis accommodation.
Once breakfast is over and everyone finishes their chats, it’s time to pack up the van and wave goodbye to everyone, promising to see them again soon.
Everyone agrees Brekky Vans are a fabulous way to start a Sunday morning and they’re delighted to be able to carry on the tradition of serving people in need.
Heartwarming! We need many more of these vans. Good work. 🙏
Great to see young people doing such a worthwhile job.