Homelessness programme marks a decade of success

The Bridge homelessness scheme in Chorley is marking its 10th anniversary

The Bridge homelessness scheme in Chorley is marking its 10th anniversary

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A Chorley homelessness scheme is marking its 10th anniversary.

Since opening in 2005, The Bridge has enabled hundreds of people aged 16 and over to get back on their feet so they can move on to a permanent home.

“The scheme has played an extremely important role in breaking the cycle of homelessness for a significant number of people who have gone on to successfully maintain a tenancy and rebuild their lives.”

Tony Devlin, project manager at The Bridge

Philomena Cunningham, operations director of housing, community and support services at Progress Housing Group, which owns and manages the scheme, said: “We’re delighted to have reached this milestone for our supported housing scheme and would like to thank all our partners including Chorley Council and Lancashire County Council.

“We have had 10 years of helping people achieve some amazing things and transforming lives.

“It’s great to have seen so many people pass through our doors and on to a better life, and we want to mark this occasion.”

The Bridge in Chorley provides 10 self-contained flats for young people experiencing homelessness for up to 18 months and is managed in partnership with Chorley Council.

As well as providing accommodation, the scheme also helps the residents to improve their long-term prospects with various education, training and voluntary opportunities.

Gardens enable residents to grow their own vegetables which are used in ‘cook and eat’ sessions that give then the skills to cook healthily on a budget.

And residents can also attend sessions to help with building confidence and developing life skills such as budgeting, IT, managing debt, plus support with securing long-term suitable accommodation when they are ready to move on.

Tony Devlin, project manager at The Bridge, said: “I am so proud of what we have achieved over the past 10 years.

“It is so rewarding seeing people come into the scheme needing our help and support, then leaving and doing well on their own.

“The scheme has played an extremely important role in breaking the cycle of homelessness for a significant number of people who have gone on to successfully maintain a tenancy and rebuild their lives.

“In these times of austerity, it is incredibly rewarding to see such positive outcomes and the sustained success of the scheme thanks to partnership working and the commitment of all involved.”