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.
In 5 years time I would like The Bridge, homelessness to hope, to increase in our collaboration with other groups as well as setting up social enterprises that would bring in more funds and create jobs. Offering courses and services as requested by our users that would provide them with various skills tackle their various health issues. Also, I would like for us to expand our work with drugs and alcohol addiction.
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.
I would like to see The Bridge – Homelessness to Hope – running as a self financing (through social enterprises) Charity with a sound financial footprint carrying on and developing its working in serving the homeless and social vulnerable in Leicester.
Huw Francis (Trustee, Secretary to The Board)
I took early retirement just over five years ago and wanted to do something positive in the community. I liked the look of what the Bridge did and initially helped out at their Night Shelter. I quickly took over admin responsibilities for The Bridge and the became the Secretary to the Board. At the same time as part of my job helping with admin issues I took over work as the Volunteer Co-ordinator. A year or so later I became a Trustee.
Where do I see the Bridge in the next five years? I want it to be a beacon of hope for the homeless and vulnerably housed in Leicester. I specifically expand our Mental Health provision to ensure that we are running a range of services from Melton Street every day which will help transform people’s lives. I want us to have a more visible profile in Leicester and be established as a place where people (and especially university students) want to volunteer.
Sarah Hope (Executive Operations Manager)
I joined The Bridge Homelessness to Hope in 2016 as our Executive Operations Manager. I have a long history of working with the not for profit sector in a number of roles, where I had to undertake a broad spectrum of work ranging from leadership and strategy to finance, administration and human resource management.
If you would like to contact Sarah please email firstname.lastname@example.org
I joined the Bridge, homelessness to hope, because I was attracted to the mission of helping the disenfranchised and marginalized of the Leicester community.
Where do I see the Bridge in the next five years? I would like the Bridge to have range of support programmes that will support homelessness, mental and physical health as well as other social problems. I want us to be the lead charity in Leicester supporting homelessness and making Leicester community more equitable for all citizens.
Patrick Harris (Team Leader and Outreach Worker)
Why you were attracted to the Bridge? 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 with charity as its mission is providing support and guidance to homeless persons in getting their lives back on track. I started as team leader for the sessions on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoon. I now run the overall outreach and breakfast programme and the advise centre on Mondays.
Where do I see the Bridge in the next five years? I would like the charity services to include our own hostel to house the most vulnerable people as well as have a rehab centre to support our users in their transition away from drug and alcohol abuse.
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. In 2015 I was approached through my University role and asked to nominate a potential trustee for The Bridge. I was so impressed with the mission of The Bridge that rather than identify someone from within my College, I put myself forward to help.
In five years’ time I would like to see The Bridge as a robust and financially stable organisation with a range of additional projects in addition to the current core activities. It is extremely likely that the need for a homelessness charity will only increase – I would like to see The Bridge helping clients to gain the support and skills necessary to help them address some of their everyday problems.
Keith Lawson West (Trustee)
What attracted me to the Bridge? I was attracted to homelessness by seeing the film Kathy Come Home when I was a teenager. In my mid thirties, I recognized that I needed to volunteer and help the less fortunate in my community. My main role a the Bridge, homelessness to hope, is to establish a separate charity, a Community Interest Company, whose role will be to create £100k profit within 5 years of launch to part fund Bridge H2H.
Where do I see the Bridge in the next 5 years? I’d hope that The Bridge H2H expand its current support programmes to focus on mental health partnership for the benefit the less privileged and marginalised. Is partnering to enable our guests to build confidence and resilience and gain volunteering experience. That our service users continue to see us as a place where they can be nurtured into wholeness and their potential realised and ;to eventually be seen as leaders in the sector with a model that others can use and we can support them in other cities.
Rob Miles (Trustee)
I am the Vicar of St Catharine’s Church in Houghton on the Hill, part of the Cornerstone Team of churches. I was previously a geography teacher, and have been in full-time Christian ministry since 2003. St Catharine’s has had links with The Bridge for several years, and I joined the board in 2015 and became a Trustee in 2016.
Marie Muir (Trustee)
What attracted me: I have worked in the charity/education sector since graduating, and think it’s really important to do a job you believe in – particularly when being a marketer. The Bridge is a small, local charity and has big aspirations – what attracted me to them is the passion of each individual trustee and the fact that I really believe in what they do. Treating homeless people without prejudice, regardless of their status, background or individual issues is so important in supporting them to take the positive forward steps.
What do I hope the Bridge will achieve in 5 years: I hope that the new venue becomes established and successful in providing an enhanced level of support to our service users. I hope that The Bridge will continue to grow in presence, and that more people will be aware of the work and support us in all our areas of growth and development.
Akilah (Social Media and Marketing Intern)
What attracted me to the Bridge: I have always had a passion for service and had spent over 8 years in the public service in my country, working with international and local partners to help solve social and political problems. The Bridge’s mission in serving the marginalised homeless persons reminded me of the need for all actors in a society to work together to build a better future for all. I immediately signed up to join the team.
Where do I see the Bridge in 5 years: I see the Bridge expanding its services to include other areas that support the homeless in their journey to self development and growth. Also, I would like them to increase their partnership with local and national partners to tackle the serious issues of homelessness that is projected to rise in the coming years.