The Bridge Leicester - Homelessness to Hope

What we do at The Bridge

We are located at 43 Melton Street, Leicester. Leicester has 22% of the population living in income deprived households and we are based in a very deprived area of the City. Our clients are amongst the most marginalised people in the City and often have complex multiple problems in addition to or as a direct of homelessness. Some will have been excluded from mainstream services or do not access them because they feel stigmatised.

We began our mission to the disadvantaged in 2009 when a group of local Christians started providing an outreach ‘Soup Run’ service to homeless people in Leicester. Today our volunteers come from many backgrounds and faiths; we accept those from all faiths and none. We all have a common goal­ to help those who are on the street to move from despair to hope. Since 2009, we have grown to now deliver various specialist services ourselves, alongside an expanded hot food service.

As we have so many volunteers, we are able to offer a ‘front line’ service at a minimal cost as well as providing opportunities for our volunteers to gain experience.

Our work supports the aims of the Leicester Homelessness Strategy (2012), which stressed that:

“A model needs to be developed to ensure homeless people can access opportunities to turn their lives around”

Our work also fits closely with the expressed aims of the Leicester Adult Social Care Commissioning Strategy (2015) to:

“Support people’s independence through ‘simple’ services rather than waiting until people hit a crisis point.”

Our overall long term strategic aim is to work with our partners to develop The Bridge into a ‘hub’ centre where local agencies can deliver their services in an accessible, welcoming and non-judgmental environment.

The Bridge – Homelessness to Hope is an outreach to the lost and lonely of Leicester, to the homeless and to those who just have nowhere to go and no one to turn to. Watch our short video where Kath describes what we do.

Meet the Team

Steve Owen
Chair
I was attracted to The Bridge, Homelessness to Hope, because as a charity, it helps the neediest members of our society in various ways. Food, clothes, companionship, seeing them turn their lives around and become positive contributors to our society.
Patrick Harris
Team Leader and Outreach Worker
I have had personal experience with homelessness and know first hand how isolating it can feel without the right support. This led me to work here as its mission is providing support and guidance to the homeless in getting their lives back on track.
Huw Francis
Trustee, Secretary to The Board, Volunteer Co-ordinator
I took early retirement just over five years ago and wanted to do something positive in the community. I initially helped out at their Night Shelter and I quickly took over admin responsibilities. I also took over work as the Volunteer Co-ordinator. A year or so later I became a Trustee.
Lea Sutherland
Mentor Project Coordinator
I joined in August 2017 and took on this exciting challenge of coordinating the Mentor Project. I was attracted to The Bridge because I believe helping your neighbour, whoever they may be, is ultimately the best way of creating healthy, safe and peaceful communities. I see this project as a real life-line for so many people who walk through our doors. I am proud to be part of this project and am excited to see what results will come of it.
Keith Lawson West
Trustee
I was attracted to homelessness by seeing the film Kathy Come Home when I was a teenager. In my mid thirties, I recognized I needed to volunteer and help the less fortunate in my community. My main role at present is to establish a Community Interest Company, whose profits will be helped to sustain and develop our future work.
Kath Lawson West
Trustee
I am a trustee responsible for finance, food and kitchen. I became involved with Charity work through my Christian beliefs. I have mainly been involved with Just Fair Trade ( retired three years ago) and The Bridge of which I am one of the founding Trustees.
Phil Baker
Trustee
I’ve worked with different charities for many years – usually in the health sector, related to my role as a doctor. I have been medical advisor to several small charities and never cease to be impressed with the time, effort and commitment of selfless volunteers.
Sarah Hope
Executive Operations Manager
I joined in 2016 as our Executive Operations Manager. I have a history of working with the not for profit sector in a number of roles, where I have undertaken a broad spectrum of work including leadership, strategy, finance, administration and human resource management.

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