The Bridge Leicester – Homelessness to Hope, has been awarded a grant worth £100,000 from Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales.
The charity, based in Melton Street, Leicester, was set up in 2009 and now offers a mentoring service which sees volunteer mentors hold weekly meetings with a person experiencing homelessness to offer advice and to listen to their concerns. The charity also offers at least one meal per day, seven days per week and provides clothes, outreach services, and mental and physical health support. Once someone has found a home, the charity offers volunteering roles to build their confidence and develop their skills.
The findings from its 2018 service user consultations reveal that prior to accessing their services, 67% of people supported were struggling with depression and anxiety, 50% wanted support to manage dependency on alcohol and 47% did not know where to access help and support. The latest Government figures also show the number of households living in temporary accommodation in England is at its highest level since 2007[i].
The new three-year grant will contribute to core costs of the charity team, allowing them to continue offering vital support to vulnerable people in the city. It builds on a previous Foundation grant of £15,174 awarded to the charity in 2016.
David Fawcett, Executive Operations Manager at The Bridge, said: “Homelessness robs people of life chances and leads to isolation and loneliness, in turn harming their physical and mental well-being. It can also shatter a person’s confidence and increases the potential of them becoming involved in crime or becoming dependent on drugs or alcohol.
“Thanks to this grant from Lloyds Bank Foundation, we will be able to bring hope back to the lives of people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and to improve their mental and physical health. We’ll also be able to help people to become independent again and improve their future employment opportunities.”
Paul Streets OBE, Chief Executive of Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, said: “Small and local charities play a vital role in their communities, reaching and helping people facing complex social issues to overcome them and move forward with their lives.
“But with public funding getting tighter and tighter and demand for their services rising, such charities are more important than ever. That is why at Lloyds Bank Foundation we are delighted to award new funding to The Bridge which will enable them to help more people made homeless or facing disadvantage in the years to come.
“We are committed to supporting small and local charities working in communities across the country, funding their work, helping them become stronger and more sustainable and helping raise their voice with policy-makers.”
The Bridge Leicester – Homelessness to Hope is one of four charities in the East Midlands supported in Lloyds Bank Foundation’s latest funding round, which awarded £389,080 across the region, tackling issues such as homelessness and disabilities. So far in 2019, the Foundation has awarded 126 new grants worth over £12.2m to charities across England and Wales to help tackle complex social issues.