We’re getting to know Leicester Tigers’ official charity partners for the 2018/19 season and this week, we heard from the team at The Bridge - Homelessness to Hope.
We caught with the charity’s chair of the trustees, Steve Owen, to find out more about the work the charity does to support the homeless across Leicester and Leicestershire.
Tell us a little bit about the charity and the work that you do?
“The Bridge – Homelessness to Hope charity has been helping homeless people to turn their lives around since 2009.
“Based on Melton Street in Leicester, the charity provides around 200 early breakfast servings for rough sleepers per week and almost 10,000 meals per year to the homeless and vulnerable, as well offering a range of specialist support services including mentoring and mental health wellbeing.”
How did the charity get involved with Tigers?
“Former Tiger, England and British Lions international Geoff Parling contacted us in 2013 to help with our Night Shelter. He later became an ambassador for the charity and helped us to organise various fundraising dinners.
“Then-Tigers captain Ed Slater took over from Geoff as an ambassador when Geoff left the club and also helped to organise dinners that raised valuable funds for us.
“We have visited the Tigers Academy and met the players on a couple of occasions and last year, Academy players came and served a meal at Christmas time at our Melton Street location.”
What will you be up to at your Tigers charity day on January 5?
“We will have approximately 20 volunteers helping with a bucket collection at the Tigers v Gloucester game on January 5, 2019 so please say hello and give generously if you see us!”
What else are the charity doing throughout the year?
“As well as the early breakfasts, we offer Thursday evening meals to around 60 guests per week, Sunday afternoon meals for at least 80 per week as well as run a weekly advice centre and mentoring programme, a women’s group, art therapy classes and keep fit classes. We also run a mental health programme plus health awareness days with links with the University of Leicester through its Project Light initiative.
“Through all of this work, we hope to achieve a situation where everybody in Leicester has a home and is integrated into society. Many thanks to Leicester Tigers and all of the club’s supporters for your help and support.”
Find out more about Tigers' official charity partners by clicking below.