The Bridge Project
The Bridge Project continues to go from strength to strength, but we still have daily challenges to provide the necessary funding to keep the project going.
We target the most vulnerable people in our Community. They are all people who have a crisis in their lives of one degree or another, and are age 26 or over. Many also have housing difficulties. Some are socially excluded and are some of Blackpool’s most vulnerable.
As is widely known, Blackpool is one of the most deprived areas in the Country.
We are struggling to meet the increasing number of clients and demands that we are currently getting.
Our Bridge Project is essential to this community, it is the biggest support project of it’s type in the area and is recognised as such by the whole community.
We couldn’t run this project without our dedicated staff and our essential local volunteers.
Funding for this project is entirely by voluntary donations.
It is within this environment that the Bridge Project plays such a vital and unique role.
The project has two main components, a Drop-in Centre and a series of Educational Programmes. Both work hand in hand and both are vital for the success of the project in lifting people out of crisis and moving forward.
The Drop-in Centre opens from 12:30 until 14:30 Monday,Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. We first register people and try to establish what issues they have and begin to explain how we can help them.
The support we provide at the Drop-in Centre includes:
· Affordable meals
· Food parcels
· Toiletry Packs
· Washing facilities
· Telephone facilities
· NHS Health checks – NHS Nurses (2) come in twice a
week 1pm – 3pm
· Signposting to other support providers
· Benefits support – advice & access to laptops / phone
· Act as a “Care of Address” for clients who are homeless/
On Mondays and Fridays the Housing Options team from Blackpool Council are present in our centre from 13:00 to 14:15 to support any of our service users experiencing accommodation / tenancy issues.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Horizon (Addiction Dependency Services) are present in our centre from 13:00 to 14:15 to support any f our Service Users with Alcohol or Substance issues.
Partnership with both local and Lancashire Police to reduce street drinking.
During 2014 we had 7,815 of Service Users attend our Drop-in Centre.
In order to help move people out of crisis to a more settled and positive way of life we put together a structured set of Education Programmes.
We provide structured morning sessions delivered by qualified tutors to motivate our Service Users and help them to lead more structured and organised lives.
Our programme covers a wide range of subjects to suit everyone, covering 5 days a week. We present certificates to all attendees and some of the programmes are accredited. These programmes commence at 9:30 and finish at 11:30.
The Bridge Programme has proved to be an essential part of our Centre. We have successfully helped and assisted clients into volunteer positions and even work. We follow the progress of each and every one, providing files on each individual. We have given our Service Users confidence, stability, structure and, this is as equally important as the education we provide.
Without this essential and successful project where would all these people go? and what impact would it have not just on their lives, but the lives of the people in the community?
© Salvation Army Blackpool Citadel 2016