The Bridge for Heroes is a King’s Lynn based charity providing help to serving HM Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families. The charity offers a wide range of free support, through its single point of access, one stop drop-in facility in South Clough Lane, King’s Lynn.
Recently the charity began running healthy living and cooking workshops, providing food and drink on a daily basis, relying on kitchen equipment donated by volunteers. Then the freezer broke down, which caused a major issue as there was nowhere to store frozen food and it was a struggle to provide a good range of meals with just a fridge. At this point local refrigeration manufacturer Williams came to the rescue by donating a commercial freezer, which Bridge for Heroes has described as ‘a godsend!’
The Bridge for Heroes drop-in facility consists of a main respite area, one-to-one room, training and workshop space and a mini museum. The kitchen morphed from a derelict outbuilding that volunteers worked on relentlessly over a three-month period. They converted it into a fully functioning kitchen which has been awarded a 5 star food hygiene rating.
Mike Taylor, the charity’s Chief Executive Officer, says, “The reason the Williams freezer has been such a godsend is that not only are we able to store a range of frozen goods again, but it’s also enabled us to join food share projects with local stores, who donate end of day food products to charities so long as they have adequate kitchen and storage facilities.”
The success of the kitchen continues to grow, with Bridge for Heroes providing over 1,000 lunches a year as well as monthly breakfast sessions. “We’re hugely grateful to companies like Williams and, indeed, all our generous supporters,” says Mike “In fact, the success of the kitchen has put a strain on the cooker we have, so we’re now fundraising for a larger, commercial cooker to meet the ever increasing demand!”
The Bridge for Heroes:
The charity delivers high quality support in the areas of mental health and wellbeing, loneliness, isolation, depression and the early identification of PTSD for the HM Armed Forces community, veterans and their families, also providing advice and guidance in areas of finance, accommodation, employment and relationships. This is carried out through one-to-one sessions, respite, group therapy and interactive community projects, focusing on building resilience and promoting independent living.
The Bridge for Heroes has been active for nearly seven years, during which time the charity has relied heavily on the generous donations of the general public and the good will of local groups. All funds go towards running the King’s Lynn facility, opening five days per week and supporting over 50 clients per month. The charity held 16,000 sessions over its last financial year, supporting over 120 new clients in that time.