David Fawcett, The Bridge Project
An art therapy project supporting the mental health and wellbeing of homeless and vulnerable people across Leicester is attracting up to 60 guests every day.
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews provided a grant worth £9,500 from his Safety Fund to The Bridge Homelessness to Hope’s Recreational Arts as Art Therapy project.
The initiative delivers music, art, film and creative writing sessions for people who are homeless and vulnerably housed to keep them off the streets for longer.
The funding provided by the PCC is helping to deliver film sessions and also a music workshop from the organisation’s Hub in Melton Street, Leicester.
Since the scheme launched, a group of 150-200 guests attend regularly with an average of 50-60 visiting every day.
The project now features in a video on the Commissioner’s website as part of his pledge to raise awareness among the public of the work he is funding to help communities thrive.
Mr Matthews said: “This project has had a fantastic impact already and I’m delighted that take up has been so high. This goes to prove that this support is very much in demand and that community organisations really do make a huge difference to the lives of those who are struggling in life and need help most.
“The Bridge Homelessness to Hope is delivering a vital service, providing warmth and safety for its guests during the cold winter months and offering a lifeline for those suffering with their mental health. The staff and volunteers are doing an incredible job and I wish them further success in the future.”
The charity hosts an art or creative writing session on a Monday, a beginner’s music session on a Tuesday, a film club on a Thursday and a more advanced music session on a Friday which has seen guests perform concerts and open mic events.
In the summer, the charity hosts a football session on a Saturday at St Matthews’s Big Local’s Multi Use Games Area (MUGA).
David Fawcett, Executive Operations Manager at The Bridge Homelessness to Hope said: “We exist to bring hope to the city’s homeless community through a range of support services including food services, mentoring, and physical and mental health and wellbeing.
“The Commissioner’s funding is vital for the development of our arts therapy project which provides many of our guests with a much-needed focus on recreational activity.”
The Bridge Homelessness to Hope also facilitates mental health drop ins, dental days, and are in the process of starting a monthly GP clinic. Turning Point Leicestershire and Rutland, the NHS integrated substance misuse service, also holds drop ins on a Monday and Friday.
In addition, the charity provides breakfast and lunch every weekday at the centre, and also provide food parcels in some cases. They can also offer a change of clothes to guests, as well as shower facilities and access to an industrial washing machine and tumble drier which is operated free of charge.
More information can be found on their website: www.bridgeleicester.org
To view the video on The Bridge project and how the funds they receive are being used:
Telephone 01283 821012
Mobile 07702 541401
Posted on Monday 27th February 2023