Bridges is a service the CCG has funded for a number of years. The previous service provider was unable to maintain the contract, leaving the CCG a short period of time to find a new provider.
St Martins Housing Trust agreed to work with the CCG and the members of the Bridges Service to look at how to improve the service. At the time St Martins took on the delivery of Bridges, the CCG engaged with members of the Bridges Service and with St Martins to understand what mattered most to the members and what they would like to see offered as part of the drop-in sessions.
It now provides mental health support and information on a drop-in basis and also group outings and activities. The aim is to help people manage their enduring mental illness, gain more social confidence and also help them to resolve any housing or financial problems. It is a safe space to meet others who experience similar issues and difficulties.
The service helps people regain the ability to engage in everyday social activities. There are always regular activities to join in, such as board games, card games, art and craft. Additional activities include pool, films, cooking, current affairs, photography, quizzes and bingo. Trips are also organised, which include visits to the beach, bike rides, coach trips and ten pin bowling. Bridges is a peer-led group so there is an opportunity to choose the activities that interest each individual.
The CCG returned to Bridges several months later to meet with members again to get feedback on how the drop-in sessions were developing and to check that the sessions were meeting their needs and expectations. The members of Bridges have been very welcoming to the CCG and it is apparent that the service is very dynamic and is led by service-users.
Bridges staff and members reported on the success of this project at the January 2019 meeting of the CCG's Governing Body meeting. You can read their presentation here: pdf Bridges Presentation (1.19 MB)