The Bridge Project has been awarded a six-figure grant by the National Lottery, totalling £234,000, alongside an additional £66,000 from the National Lottery’s Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund. The grant will support the long-term expansion project and development of the charity’s new base in Brundon Lane, Sudbury. The funding will be used to develop unused land around the new HQ into a kitchen garden, with horticulture and cooking tutors hired to provide more learning opportunities for disadvantaged and vulnerable adults.
In addition to teaching service users essential skills by growing their own produce, the garden will also supply the Create café in Borehamgate, where many students undertake work experience. The funds will also provide food for the charity’s meal delivery service, which serves vulnerable residents in and around Sudbury.
To ensure it can withstand ongoing challenges like the cost-of-living crisis, the Bridge Project plans to utilise the funding to maintain its meal delivery services and bolster its reserves. A portion of the funding will also be allocated to extending the fleet of electric vehicles to promote environmentally friendly transport and help the charity efficiently move between its different sites.
Dave Jackson, CEO, expressed his gratitude for the grant and highlighted the expansion of the charity’s offer, bringing together disparate parts of the community to support each other.
“It’s a huge expansion for us and a huge benefit for the wider community. We want to provide as many opportunities as possible for our students to be public-facing in the community and help build their self-esteem. That’s why we’ve taken on the Sudbury Arts Centre, Create and the meal delivery service.”Dave Jackson, CEO of The Bridge Project
Paul Mackman, Chair of Trustees at the Bridge Project, acknowledged the impact of the funding and congratulated the CEO, Dave Jackson, for his hard work securing it. The grant is a critical component of the charity’s five-year plan and the realisation of its aspirations, with a massive social impact for Sudbury.
“The lottery funding has been over a year in the making – we submitted our application in June last year, and a huge amount of time and resources has gone into the process. This represents a huge impact by our CEO, so Dave is to be congratulated for that.”Paul Mackman, Managing Director of The Mackman Group and Chair of Trustees at The Bridge Project