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THE BEGINNING

The Bridge for Heroes was established in 2010 after seeing a need to directly support members of the Armed Forces Community (AFC), especially those struggling with poor mental health and well-being or PTSD. Mike & Helen Taylor, along with family and friends began developing an idea and vision to provide a safe haven where serving, ex-serving and dependants could meet and talk in an environment where they would be listened to.

INITIAL IDEAS

The initial idea was to take on the Bridge Hotel in Sutton Bridge providing a place where veterans and family members could receive help and support on a daily or weekly basis, but the cost of rejuvenating the hotel was unrealistic with the funds we initially raised. However, through our fundraising effort and meeting many veterans on the streets and in stores an idea formed of providing a drop-in centre where veterans could stop for a cuppa and share their stories with fellow comrades as well as receive help and support depending on their need.
 

THE UPSTAIRS CONTACT CENTRE

In early 2011 we came across a vacant first floor of a building in King's Lynn town centre, which had one large room, a toilet and a small brew-making area, but was full of character and potential. In February 2011 we were able to move in and began making it into a warm and welcoming environment for the AFC. The services we were able to provide from this space began to grow and we somehow were able to fit in a respite seating area, small bookshop, mini museum and office space! It was very cosy and just what was needed at the time.

VOLUNTEER SUPPORT

As veterans and family members began to use the drop-in centre we began to form a strong volunteer team. This provided much-needed peer-to-peer support for those struggling with their mental health. The dedication and commitment from the volunteers drove the Charity forward and we saw many positive outcomes from those seeking help and support. As word spread we began having regular attendees as well as new beneficiaries. By mid-2013 we were beginning to outgrow the space! We were open at least four days a week and had had a stair lift fitted but this was not easily accessible to everyone. We needed a ground floor space!

EXPANSION

At this point, we heard that the ground floor of the building would be becoming vacant in early 2014. We put in an application to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (AFCFT), Libor fund requesting funding to help with our expansion and growth. This was a success and the much-needed kick-start to aid us to get to where we are now.

INITIAL FUNDING

Over the years we have been greatly supported by various large and small funds from the AFCFT helping the Charity to grow and expand to meet the needs of our local AFC. We also gained financial support from Help for Heroes, Norfolk Community Fund, and our local Borough Council King's Lynn & West Norflk to to help run the Centre. 

GET IN TOUCH

REGISTERED ADDRESS

The Bridge for Heroes
52a South Clough Lane
King’s Lynn
Norfolk
PE30 1SE

contact@thebridgeforheroes.org

01553 760230

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