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The Bridge launches new corporate partnerships initiative to address social issues in the community

The Bridge launches new corporate partnerships initiative to address social issues in the community

The Bridge (East Midlands), a leading Leicester-based charity that supports homeless and vulnerably housed people, has launched The Bridge 2 Collaboration, a new partnership programme which will work to address homelessness, food poverty and other social issues in the local community. The first ever business networking session of The Bridge 2 Collaboration, held Friday 11 February 2022, saw more than 20 delegates from businesses in the region join the charity to learn how this partnership can have a lasting impact across the East Midlands.

By joining the partnership, businesses will be able to achieve Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) targets, whilst raising their brand profiles through social media and other communication channels. They will gain exclusive access to new opportunities, receive informative monthly newsletters, and be invited to join quarterly business meetings organised by the charity. These meetings will enable members to network with peers, showcase their expertise, and share ideas about addressing some of the pressing social issues faced by local communities.

The companies that took part in the session included representatives from Blaby District Council, HSBC, Hinckley & Rugby Building Society, and Hollingsworth Solicitors. The businesses were invited to use their abilities to strategically help improve outcomes for underserved groups identified by The Bridge through their specific services, such as specialist housing advice and family mediation.

Sue Langley, Chief Executive Officer of The Bridge explained the significance of the new initiative, “The Bridge 2 Collaboration offers an opportunity for businesses to make a lasting impact through embracing and celebrating our diversity, while raising awareness of the things that nobody wants to see – nobody wants to see homeless people on the streets, nobody wants to see families go without food, or elderly people going without heat. I think these real visceral social issues, are together, something on which we can have a great impact.

“Businesses and charities need to work together to share the expertise and knowledge they have in their local communities and the new initiative also serves as an appeal to an individual’s personal responsibility, for them to consider, ‘how can I make a difference?’”

David Tomlinson, Director of the Wealth and Personal Banking Sector at HSBC, echoed this point and said, “Collaboration really is the key to all this. The third sector is crucial to how we address social inequities, and we believe The Bridge can fulfil that need. This is why we need to collaborate for mutual benefit.

“HSBC can provide financial support to people of no fixed abode or assist survivors of domestic abuse. We have a pivotal role to play in society and we’re acutely aware of the cycle that exists – this is the cycle of not having a bank account, which means you have no job, which determines that you can’t get a home – if there’s no break from that cycle, it’s difficult to get out of. With HSBC, by stepping in and providing that bank account, along with financial services and advice, we can break that cycle and support the wider community,” continued Tomlinson.

Between April 2020 and March 2021, The Bridge handled up to 6,202 referrals and enquiries. In 2021 alone, the charity saw an 11 per cent increase in referrals for their services (compared to 2020, which was 15 per cent higher than 2019). The charity’s help is especially valuable now as the community grapples with the soaring cost of living, along with the rise in incidences of domestic abuse that have emerged with working from home, as well as the skills shortage. The charity’s vital and often lifesaving response through housing related advice, support, and assistance services to prevent or relieve homelessness are urgently needed.

The next event will be held on Friday 29th April from 8 to 9.30am at the Marriot Hotel, Grove Park, Enderby, Leicester LE19 1SW. To claim your space, click here  

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