Client Story

The Bridge

  • Location: Leicester
  • Sector: Community Services Housing and Accommodation
  • Amount: £30k
  • Purpose: Equipment Costs
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Meet Keith
Director Keith literally took to heart Christian teachings about poverty and social justice ‘to feed the hungry and help the poor’ when 20 years ago he volunteered in a soup kitchen with the Salvation Army.

Key Fund invested £30k to The Bridge, Leicester to set up a social enterprise, and convert an ice-cream trailer into a coffee wagon.


Based in one of the most deprived areas of Leicester since 2009, The Bridge Homelessness to Hope support those who are marginalised within the city.

The Bridge aims to bring about long-lasting change to an individuals circumstances, offering services such as washing facilities, food and drinks, clothing and case work support.

The Challenge

As other services closed or moved to different locations to continue to service the huge need, Leicester still had the highest homelessness count in the country after London. A permanent base was desperately needed to run a support hub.

They found premises on the St Matthews estate near the city centre, which is in one of the most deprived areas of the country. They needed funding to cover core costs as well as expand offerings by converting vehicles into coffee wagons to increase the reach of the support they had to offer.

Meet Patrick
Patrick had a tough childhood, in children’s homes and foster families. Later, after his marriage separated, he ended up on the streets for four years. He later became a volunteer and has been at The Bridge for ten years, now in a paid position. This year Dr Patrick Harris was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Leicester for his work with the homeless. His ambition is to have a residential and rehab centre.

The Solution

Every Sunday lunch they feed up to 100 homeless people and also engage them in art, yoga, drama and music.

Law students come in to give legal advice and the Job Centre runs a club – first of a kind, because clients wouldn’t access such services otherwise. They’ve started a fitness group and because of funding can start art therapy and gardening groups – things designed to build hope.

The Bridge Homelessness to Hope has highly specialised trustees, such as the Head of Mental Health Services in East Midlands and the Dean of Medicine at the University of Leicester to bring in expertise, connections and knowledge.

The Feedback

“Without Key Fund we wouldn’t have been able to start, it’s as basic as that. It’s enabled us to start the business, reach out and support people in desperate need.”

Start your journey

Homelessness is not the issue; we’re fighting depression, mental health and alcohol misuse. I’ve got a guy now, just out of jail, he’s been given a place with a bed and that’s it. He came to me and said all his friends were out on the streets; he didn’t have any on-going support. For me, it’s about love. These guys are missing the love. Someone to sit down and talk to them and say how’s your day, how do you feel – it’s just that love.

Patrick – The Bridge Homelessness to Hope

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