WHAT WE DO

Choose from our services below

RECRUIT – MATCH – MENTOR

The Mentoring Project

“Mentoring through The Bridge has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on my own life; it is such a rewarding scheme to be involved with. It gives me an immense feeling of achievement to see my mentee achieve a personal goal, knowing my input has assisted her in getting there”

RECRUIT
Our mentors and mentees are recruited by the Mentor Coordinator who is the main point of contact for all mentors and mentees. The Coordinator will recruit volunteers and train them to support and help the mentee. Our mentees are recruited via other services at The Bridge or from our partners in the city.
MATCH
After applications have been made, references and DBS checks received and completed, the Coordinator will match one mentor to one mentee based on their preferences, interests and needs. When a match is made, the Coordinator will help them set their goals and expectations for the following 6 months of the project.
MENTOR
The mentor and mentee will then meet in a public place on a weekly basis to work towards achieving the goals set. Often mentee's will just want to talk and be listened to. In time this relationship can help increase the mentee's confidence, reduce their social isolation and improve mental and physical health.

THE MENTORING PROJECT

The mentoring project was established to support homeless and vulnerably-housed adults with multiple and complex needs who live in Leicester. It aims to increase mentees’ confidence, reduce social isolation, improve mental and physical health and access practical help.

Volunteer mentors meet with someone once a week for a couple of hours for up to 6 months to listen, talk to, assist and accompany them to achieve personal goals. The Mentor Coordinator recruits, trains and supervises mentors. They will also recruit and match mentees with a mentor.

MENTORING EXPERIENCES

Amongst outcomes reported were increased motivation, increased income, improved mental and physical health, reduced debt and improved accommodation and living conditions. One woman said “It felt like there was a mountain and I couldn’t get over it … that’s all changed”. Mentoring a homeless or vulnerably-housed person can make a real difference to their quality of life and can be a rewarding experience.

WHAT IS MENTORING?

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring services provide positive influences for people who may not have a good support system available to them.

Volunteers (mentors) are matched with people who need support. The project created a one-to-one relationship to provide guidance, advice and support. A mentor can also simply be someone for a vulnerable person to hang out with. Through this special relationship, mentors serve as role models.

Mentoring is a non-judgemental ‘person centred’ approach- focussing on the person not the problem.

Programme Background

Our mentoring project started in 2013. An initial cohort of ten volunteer mentors were recruited and trained to support homeless or vulnerably housed people. We supported ten marginalised people in the first year but our project did not initially accept people with alcohol or drug problems or those with offending backgrounds. Over time our mentors grew in confidence and, closely supported by the mentor Co-ordinator, began to accept these very marginalised people onto our programme.

The Mentors and Mentees

The Mentors : Our volunteer mentors come from all walks of life and some have previously been service users. They receive training in the following areas: homelessness issues, mental health and domestic violence awareness and welfare benefits. The mentors grow in confidence and improve their self-esteem as they learn new skills they can share with others.

“Mentoring through The Bridge has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on my own life; it is such a rewarding scheme to be involved with. It gives me an immense feeling of achievement to see my mentee achieve a personal goal, knowing my input has assisted her in getting there”

The Mentees : Apart from being homeless, ‘sofa surfing’ or living in sub-standard accommodation, they can also face loneliness and social isolation, many have offending backgrounds, often due to drug and alcohol dependence leading to physical or mental health problems. Most are economically inactive when they join the project.

“It [the project] has helped me tremendously…I’m out of my inappropriate accommodation…and I can be debt free now – that makes me feel great… it felt like there was a mountain and I couldn’t get over it, now that’s all changed……It’s wonderful, I’ve had my eye operation and… it’s so lovely to see peoples’ faces and faces on my family photos”.

BECOME A MENTOR

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£1 CAN BUY A HOMELESS PERSON A MEAL

Food Provision

Our welcoming environment helps marginalised people to build up trust in us and provides the ‘starting point’ for them to access other services. We aim to offer offer non- judgemental companionship to all who walk through our doors.

6 DAYS A WEEK
From Sunday to Friday we offer at least one meal per day for people who would otherwise go hungry.
GREAT TEAM OF COOKS
We have a friendly and motivated team of volunteers in the kitchen.
OVER 180 MEALS PER WEEK
We provide 180+ meals per week to anyone who comes through our doors, no questions asked.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Thursday Evenings (1830 – 2000): We serve hot and cold drinks and a hot cooked meal to over 60 guests every week.

Sunday Afternoons (1530 – 1700): We provide a service in conjunction with members of the Sai Centre Leicester (www.leicestersaicentre.org ) who cook and prepare the food. We are currently welcoming over 70 guests each week to this service.

Monday to Friday mornings (0600 – 0800): We provide a light breakfast service of tea, coffee, cereal and toast for rough sleepers who would otherwise miss out on food and a hot drink first thing in the morning.

KEEP SOMEONE WARM THROUGH THE COLD NIGHTS

Warm Clothes Provision

The Bridge Leicester maintains a small store of warm clothes – hats, gloves, scarves, coats, socks and underwear – and sleeping bags which it gives to those in demonstrable need.

A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP

Temporary and B&B Provision

Occasionally an individual will present themselves at The Bridge Leicester with nowhere to sleep that night. If they do not meet Leicester City Council’s criteria for placement in one of their emergency beds, we have paid for them to move into B&B accommodation for a maximum of three nights. Once in the B&B, our Outreach Worker will liaise with the Council and private sector landlords to find them suitable alternative accommodation.

WE ARE HERE TO HELP

Advice Centre

In conjunction with the Zynthia Trust (www.zinthiyatrust.org) we provide a weekly ‘drop in’ advice service every Monday from 10am to 1pm. Advice can be given on areas such as benefits and access to food and fuel vouchers.