Six months ago Bridge for Heroes was under severe threat of closure. With the contact centre having held over 3000 support sessions since opening in June 2011, this would have had an extremely detrimental effect on Serving Personnel, Veterans and their families in the Norfolk region.
Mike Taylor, the Founder of Bridge for Heroes, reached out to Help for Heroes and thankfully we were able to step in to provide immediate funding of £27, 392 to prevent the Centre from closing.
With the Centre’s future secure, the team have been able to continue their vital work with a further 2449 support sessions, a 11.5% increase from the previous six months. The assistance and support provided during these sessions ranges from PTSD advice, emotional support, compensation advice, pensions, housing, homelessness and many other Service related issues.
One of the individuals who received the team’s holistic support was Tom, a young soldier who had just left the Military on completion of a tour in Afghanistan. Finding himself alone at Christmas, he told the team he was lost and had no hopes for the future. During January 2014 the Bridge for Heroes team supported the young Veteran by finding him permanent accommodation and stable employment. To date, he is still successfully employed and continues to drop in to visit the Centre on his days off.
It is helping individuals like Tom that drives the passion Mike and his team feel for their work and they are thrilled to have been able to keep Bridge for Heroes up and running.
Mike says; “The future of the Contact Centre operations in King’s Lynn is now secured until October 2015. As the Founder, I can only add my heartfelt thanks on behalf of all those who we have helped, are helping, and those who will need that support and help within the coming years, for Help for Heroes financial support. We look forward to continuing our partnership, working within Norfolk, to make that difference to the Armed Forces community.”
With the Veterans Needs Assessment (2012) having estimated that there are 90,000 veterans living in the Norfolk area, the need to support the future of Bridge for Heroes is clear.
If you know of someone in the Norfolk area who could benefit from Bridge for Heroes, please contact the team on: 0300 111 2030 or visit their website at: www.thebridgeforheroes.org