Love in Action
Currently 3-4 volunteers from our team meet with vulnerable women between their ‘appointments’ and while they are working on the streets. We offer a safe haven and temporary refuge in our outreach vehicle, where we show care and kindness in a non-judgemental way.
During this time they are often distressed, frightened, hungry, cold and desperate; we assess their immediate needs and give hot drinks, sandwiches, clothes and a listening ear. We offer a range of encouraging literature and books addressing problems such as self harm, addictions and eating disorders. Our team have received very positive feedback from people that we befriend, who enjoy reading the hand-outs and books.
If appropriate, we give an invitation to attend the monthly testimony meeting at our local church, which typically features:
- A guest speaker, usually a reformed drug addict, alcoholic, criminal or someone who has experienced ‘life’s trials’, has come through and is now rehabilitated into normal mainstream society. These are relevant life stories that offer hope to those that attend.
- Uplifting live band
- Free hot meal and refreshments.
These meetings are popular and very often result in women that we assist attending church regularly. We always show compassion, respect and kindness and often listen to problems that many feel unable to share with other agencies.
During our outreach we give out printed hand-outs listing emergency and other useful numbers, as well as our own contact details. We advise those that we meet of the services that are available through BRIDGEfriends and encourage them to engage with our team on the daytime outreach.
The heart of BRIDGEfriends is to see trust built between the vulnerable women that we help and the local constabulary, and for them to feel confident about reporting crime. We are able to offer support for victims of violent attacks and rape by staying with them while they report the crime and accompanying them to crisis centres.
We protect the identity of everyone who uses our befriending service, everything is confidential except where we are required by law, a child is at risk or we have consent.
We have membership to the UGLY MUGS scheme and are alerted when known sex offenders are operating in the area, providing valuable information for the wellbeing of ‘working women’
You can learn about the services offered on our day time outreach here.