The Bridge, our supported accommodation, provides a structured residential process of restoration. But it offers more than just a roof over people's heads. Our hope is that the residents will be provided with ‘a bridge’ from an old to a new life, from hopelessness to hope.
Here is a small insight from a past resident reflecting on their time there.
My time at the Bridge.
When I look back at my time at the Bridge the first thing that comes to mind is the fantastic signposting that the staff kept up throughout my stay. Whenever I needed anything, the staff were really quick to help me find answers. Whether it was health related or to do with voluntary work or leisure they always helped me to find what I was looking for. Not only would they help me find these things, but they were always keen to help me get there. This isn’t to say that they had every piece of information at their fingertips, but they would spend the time needed to look these things up or ask around their connections.
The staff were clearly trying their hardest to keep a balance between making sure that the house rules were being implemented and allowing us residents to have some needed freedom. I was quite a fragile person when I first arrived at the Bridge and although I had been in situations where rules had to be followed for the greater good, I needed the space that I was given at the Bridge. I was willing and able to follow certain rules all the time, but I needed the space to find my own way into keeping up with other rules. The staff were really helpful with this and accepted that like other residents, I wasn’t firing on all cylinders all the time.
I found that my needs were important to the staff on a lot of levels. I was always asked about my preferences concerning the food shopping for instance. I was grateful to be asked if I wanted to talk through any issues I was experiencing and was soon in conversations with a wonderful professional counsellor. Whenever the housework rotas were being made up, I knew that I would be a part of the discussion. And, very importantly, whenever new residents were being considered I was asked for my thoughts, and I knew that my thoughts counted.
On the whole, my time at the Bridge was a pleasantly relaxed affair. There was, generally, a calm peaceful atmosphere at the Bridge and this played its part in making my stay there an enjoyable experience. I can’t help but wonder if this was not more than just the location and whether the Spiritual aspect was a large part of this. I felt encouraged to follow my own Spiritual path but definitely not pushed. As a believing Christian I was guided to the range of churches in Eastbourne, but I wasn’t challenged about my attendance.