Our open access Day Centre is our front line service, and home of our Bridging The Gap project. We provide a safe, friendly environment where people are accepted no matter their current situation, or past. Many of our other programmes also run from here and a dedicated team of project workers and volunteers support those who visit in a wide range of ways.
People are welcome to come in and simply use the facilities – we provide food parcels, serve a free hot lunch, have free showers and subsidised laundry facilities, a gym for those wanting to improve their health, pool and tennis tables, an internet cafe with free web access, along with a TV lounge for those who simply want to unwind in a safe, warm environment, as well as a free clothes store. It makes for a lively, but warm atmosphere which is open 5 days a week.
As you can imagine running this service is quite costly, and whilst we have some BIG Lottery Grant funding it only enables us to run the service for a few hours a day five days a week. With only 5 part time staff members specialising in various areas of support we are grateful for the volunteers who also help us run this service. Additional financial support for our projects is always welcome and allows us to maintain and enhance this work.
‘My confidence has been boosted again, the people encouraged me not to give up and that I would find my own place. Without the help of everyone at the Freedom Centre I don’t know what I would have done.’ – Day Centre User
The vulnerable people in our community can often find it difficult to negotiate the steps between government and local services, especially when already dealing with challenging life issues. Our Bridging The Gap project is the centre for all our work which addresses these holes by supporting people with a range of issues from benefit problems, coping with relationship breakdowns, homelessness or living in unsuitable accommodation, through to poor mental and physical health or those struggling to find work.
We do this through taking the time and attention to work through the issues affecting our clients and providing the support they need to work towards brighter futures. We run Digital Inclusion courses on internet use and computer skills, arrange a job club, help clients apply for further education courses and training and allow free phone usage for calls to employers and agencies that often have long hold times.
‘When you’ve been in prison no-one really wants to help or listen to you. At the Freedom Centre the staff are friendly and willing to help anyone – it’s a clean, tidy and calming atmosphere. The staff have helped me set goals, all the services and people I need to meet my probation requirements and goals are here in the one place, and I’m supported to integrate with other people again – some of them just like me. Without Freedom Centre I would most likely be back in a bad place, still on drugs and probably homeless.’ – Freedom Centre client