Blackpool community project celebrates the success of service users

published on 24 Apr 2017

A project that supports some of the most vulnerable people in Blackpool when in the midst of a crisis held its annual awards recognising the achievements of those who use the service.  

The awards ceremony was held at Blackpool Football club on Wednesday 19th April, and was an opportunity to celebrate the success of 18 people who attend the programme of education at The Salvation Army’s Bridge Project which is run at the church and charity's church (corps) in Raikes Parade.  &nbsp

Certificates were handed out for a range of accredited courses including Ascentis level one and two in Maths and English.   Alongside the accredited courses, the The Salvation Army also offers life courses such as  anger management and one which gives service users the skills to make their own curtains, cushions or even cat beds.  

Bev Taylor, Programme Manager at The Bridge Project, said: “The first time people come to us at The Bridge is when they are in the middle of a crisis.  Some are street homeless, and others may be about to lose their homes or are in food poverty. They come to our daily drop in service and we sit down and unpick what has caused the crisis. Once we’ve helped to give them the tools to work their way out of the initial crisis we invite them to take part in our education programme.   “We’ve seen the transformational effect passing an exam or completing a course can have on our service users. Suddenly there is a self-belief and motivation to keep going, to pass the next level up or move onto the next subject.   “In fact, four people who have achieved certificates aren’t here today because they’ve secured jobs and volunteer placements since passing the exams – I’m incredibly proud of them. Our drop in centre alongside our education programme is helping our service users to transform their lives for good, it’s not just a quick fix. We give them the tools they need to break the cycle.”  

More than 70 people attended to celebrate the achievements of service users at The Bridge including the Mayor, local counsellors and businesses. Blackpool Football Club provided the venue and meal.   Bev, continued: “We are extremely grateful to Blackpool Football Club for hosting the awards and for providing the food. It’s a real reward in itself and it’s been a wonderful day – we just want to say thank you.  

“The Bridge is the largest community project of its kind in Blackpool and we are making a difference to local people. We’re able to do it thanks to the help from local people and businesses who provide support. Many of them have taken the time out of their busy lives to attend today and we’d like to thank them all – we are so grateful.”   The Salvation Army has been transforming lives for more than 150 years. The Bridge Project is just one way in which the church and charity supports the community in Blackpool.