Bridge House Changed My Life for the Better

Our women’s services provide a lifeline for women who are living in fear, being exploited or in many ways disadvantaged. The support we provide to vulnerable women and children at Bridge House, improves their health and wellbeing and gives them hope and a future.

Thank you to our Bridge House staff who continue to have such a positive impact on so many.

Below, is an account, in her own words, from one of our past Bridge House Service Users, Geri.

“I moved into Bridge House (BH) in August 2019. At the time I was 8 months pregnant, my partner had walked out on me and I was left homeless as a result. I was very anxious to move into the project especially under my circumstances.

Karen was the first member of staff I met on the day I arrived for my interview. Karen was very welcoming and respectful.

During my time at BH, we would get together as a whole house group and participate in activities such as, poetry, cooking skills, arts and crafts and first aid awareness.

I remember one day during painting I dipped my daughter’s toes in paint and I still have the picture for my memories.

I suffer with anxiety and panic attacks, so when COVID-19 hit the UK in March, it caused my anxiety to spiral out of control. I was nervous about staff coming into the project at the time and petrified I could die and leave my child motherless. Karen and another member of staff Sue were my saving grace. They spoke with me via telephone and helped me through the situation.

I’ve been through a lot of trauma and heartache in my life and BH has helped me to become stronger, more focused and led me in the right direction. Karen made referrals for me for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) counselling, women’s wellness, and domestic violence workshops.

I won’t say it was all a bed of roses as I would be a liar. A house full of around 9-10 women living at one time, sharing kitchens etc, things do get difficult and there is tension from time to time. You meet all different kinds of people from completely different walks of life. However, when an incident does occur, whether it is someone leaving washing up in the sink or washing in the tumble dryer, staff are always there on hand to resolve the issue.

We had weekly house meetings where everyone could express their views, discuss issues, and have a little vent really. There were cleaning rotas in place and everyone had to do their chores on certain days.

At Christmas, staff and residents all came together and made dinner and BH gave all residents gifts which was very kind and thoughtful. Especially as a lot of residents found themselves homeless, penniless, and struggling when they arrived at BH.

Whilst at BH I had problems with my hosing application. The staff went above and beyond to fight my case and I am now currently living in my very own 2-bedroomed house with my daughter. I sincerely appreciate everything.

I am due to start university in February to study Health and Social Science. My aim is to work in a women’s refuge or mother and baby unit like BH. Since leaving BH, staff have continued to provide me with outreach and the support I’ve received has been amazing.

I can honestly say BH has changed my life for the better and some of the staff members I met along the way have touched me in ways that are unreal and will always have a place in my heart.

I can truly say it’s been an emotional yet amazing experience.”