“Before Bridge I was homeless for a period of time, was depressed, drinking and couldn’t concentrate …”
Roy was referred to the Bridge Project by one of our partner organisations Northumberland CVA following a referral by the Jobcentre for them to support him with CV writing. At the time he had been unemployed for almost 2 years.
Having gone through a nasty breakdown from a long term relationship, Roy found himself homeless for a period of time, turned to alcohol for comfort and became depressed.
Roy left school with 8 CSE’s and completed a college electrical course resulting in a job as an electrician at Lynemouth Colliery where he worked until it closed. From there Roy had several factory jobs where he operated machinery. Roy was also in a band who played gigs at local pubs and clubs, playing the bass guitar and sometimes as a stand in drummer.
When he first joined the Bridge Project Roy was very quiet and didn’t speak to other members of the group during group activities. Through the arts, Roy made friends and became part of a bonded group of individuals all from different backgrounds with different stories to tell and became part of a small family of friends who refer to themselves as the BMC (Bridge Mental Crew).
“Bridge has put me back on my feet!”
Whilst on the project Roy has embraced various activities including; cooking with herbs, growing your own herbs, graffiti art, creative writing, sculpture & is currently volunteering at The Full Circle Food Project allotment twice a week where he weeds, waters, transplants and plants the vegetables they grow.
Roy also volunteers at the Salvation Army to gain valuable work experience. His role includes sorting through the items that have been donated to find suitable items to sell in the shop, steams the clothes, hangs them and tags them to display in the shop for sale.
“Bridge helped me get back on my feet. I would never be volunteering if it wasn’t for Bridge.”
Roy was part of an art exhibition “A Picture of the Mind” a collaboration between the Bridge Project and Northumberland Bait based at Woodhorn Museum where members of the BMC proudly displayed their art work to the general public. He was also involved in a Wellbeing session that he co-hosted and spoke to a room of over 40 health professionals in a session to demonstrate how art can help to improve your mental health and wellbeing.
“My Bridge Worker genuinely cares, he’s really honest – he’s a keeper!”
Roy told us that Bridge helped to put him in the right frame of mind and the creative activities made him feel at ease as people from various backgrounds with similar issues all accepted, helped and supported each other.
David, Roy’s Bridge Worker supported him with a debt issue, enrolled him on online awareness computer and employability courses and he also attended a couple of training courses in security which resulted in him securing his SIA licence a qualification he hopes to put to use in a CCTV security role.
Roy would recommend Bridge to other people as he’s seen it work for him.
“Everyone matters or nobody matters everyone should be treat the same”.
Roy sees himself as a success story (and we agree!) He feels more upbeat than he did two years ago and would like a job and hopes his work experience puts him in good stead. Well done Roy you’ve come so far and we look forward to following your journey…
What difference is Bridge making?
Goal setting at a pace that’s good for Roy
Increasing confidence in himself and reducing social isolation
Addressing debt issues
Support Roy when things get tough to get him back on track
Working with the arts to support Roy throughout his journey
What’s next for Roy?
Roy is currently volunteering with The Full Circle Food Project at their allotment in addition to The Salvation Army shop and is building up skills and experience so he can start to apply for work.
If you think we can help to make changes in your life why not contact us?