What do we do?
Our Customer Service team are often the first point of contact for general enquiries and people in crisis situations. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will help assess which services at The Bridge are most suitable for you and arrange an appointment or referral so you can access advice or support. We will also let you know about other services you can access, particularly if The Bridge doesn’t offer advice or support relevant to your circumstances.
In addition to triaging enquiries for our specialist services, the Customer Services Team assist people living on a low income to access a range of help:
- Distribution of food parcels
- Signposting to a range of places that can help people access food parcels/meals/ washing facilities
- Referrals to SOFA for discounted furniture and household goods
- Administering ‘Care of Address’ arrangements at The Bridge for clients without a home
- Assessing eligibility for Charnwood Welfare Provision and distributing food and fuel vouchers to people in crisis
Charnwood Welfare Provision
The Bridge has been provided funding by Leicestershire County Council to assist people in crisis who are without food/heating/lighting.
What can we help with?
- Pre-payment gas or electric credit. We issue Fuel Vouchers that are redeemed at Loughborough Post Office along with photo ID which is taken by The Bridge at the point of issuing the vouchers.
- Food parcels (unfortunately we do not have resources to deliver and would require the person making the claim or the professional to collect the parcel)
- Hot food vouchers for George’s Fish and Chip Shop on Leicester Road (These are issued if someone is without cooking facilities.)
Are you eligible?
Please read the eligibility criteria before making an application:
- Are you eligible for means- tested benefits? (Examples include: Income related ESA, Income based JSA, Income Support, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Support and Universal Credit)
- Do you live in Charnwood?
- Are you without money to purchase food or pre-payment fuel due to an emergency/ crisis?
- Since May 2016 is this your first or second time requesting help from Charnwood Welfare Provision?
How do I apply?
If you answer yes to all of the above questions you are likely to be eligible for help. You can contact our Customer Services Team by calling 0300 561 0561 to make a claim. We are available to take calls during our normal office hours advertised on our website.
If you have a professional helping you they can make an application on your behalf. Follow the link below for more information on how to make a claim.
Once we have received a claim our Triage Worker will conduct a thorough assessment checking your eligibility for help. They will request proof or evidence relating to your situation before they make a decision to award assistance. It can take up to a maximum of 1 working day for a decision to be made.
Food Donations and Food Parcels
Food is donated throughout the year by the kind generosity of local schools, churches, Loughborough Students Union, other organisations and individuals. Any food donated to The Bridge is made into food parcels and given to those in need. Food parcels generally contain tins of soup, vegetables, meat, beans, packets of pasta, rice and occasionally tea or coffee. Non-perishable food is always preferable as fresh food can be difficult to store.
At specific times of the year, such as Easter, Harvest Festival and Christmas, donations increase significantly. The Bridge is always happy to accept donations and where necessary larger donations can be collected by prior arrangement
Vouchers are also distributed by The Bridge on behalf of Elim and Baxter Gate Church. Elim Church provides a hot meal for the street homeless and Baxter Gate provide a sandwich, cake and a drink.
Vouchers are to be collected from The Bridge before going to the following places for food:
- Baxter Gate Church - Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 12.30pm for street homeless (3 vouchers are allocated per day, only one voucher per person per week) Sandwich/Drink/Cake.
- Elim Church – Monday and Friday Vouchers to be collected before 12.00, food available at 1.00pm for street homeless (6 vouchers allocated on both days, only one voucher per person per week) Hot meal.
The following food is also available. You do not need to be referred to these by The Bridge:
- Carpenters Arms, food parcels – Tuesdays, 2.30pm – 3.30pm. You will need to show proof of benefits.
- Project 5000, food parcels – Mondays 7.15pm – 8.00pm (except bank holidays) Old Emmanuel Church Hall Forest Road.
- A full list of food available in Loughborough is available at The Bridge, just ask at reception