Bridge the Gap - Families in Need cic was set up by Melissa Francis at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak to meet the growing needs of families across Hackney. Many families have been left to fend for themselves during this time with little support from schools and other social services. “Bridge the gap have a passion to support families, parents, children and those with additional needs as this is something dear to our hearts. At Bridge the Gap, we believe in social inclusion and want to combat the digital divide that has left so many people with no access to information, resources and learning.” - Melissa Francis had started to provide support to local families in the beginning by: Signposting them to services for further support for Befriending also offering 6 months virtual tutoring for children. Enabling access to food banks, food hubs and hot meals, Providing information on available support schemes and youth services for children’s basic educational needs (such as http://www.hackneyquest.org.uk/
), Supporting SEN families with information through https://www.hiphackney.org.uk/home.html
Sourcing laptops and other devices for families that are not eligible for other kinds of funding, Sharing of information to families regarding benefit claims so that people are not pushed into homelessness. At the beginning of the pandemic, we worked with T’s tasty cuisine to provide 1 hot meal, food parcels and essential items every Wednesday for a short period. We continue to work alongside Hackney quest, the wickers charity, Caribeats, The Hackney community closet, HIP, young Hackney, volunteering centre Hackney, our place and Connecting all communities organisation to provide other services such as food, clothing, and information and signposting information. Our main focus at BTG is to provide laptops and other devices to families and vulnerable people who otherwise would not be able to access them. These months of enforced Homeschooling and unpredicted lockdown periods and rise in variants have revealed the many barriers facing low-income families (incl. job losses, food insecurity, housing issues,homelessness, domestic abuse, family bereavements and many more…). Many families are still struggling to rely on food banks as cuts to income still is evident . Families and those with no recourse to public funds have been left with no access to a laptop or Internet provision where they continue to struggle to access online resources. since schools began to reopen after the first lockdown, and second lockdown we had still seen numerous amount of families still struggling for devices for their children till current.
We have continued to support families with a donation received as all donations goes back into overhead costs to maintain the service providing to those in our community. At present through this uncertain new variant, the list of referrals are rising as families and individuals including asylum seekers and those fleeing domestic violence continue to desperately require a device for their children, or accessing services and further education to improve their lives. our determination to continue with this project to help families is very much needed.
Over 2200 people had benefitted from our services over the past 19 months this included food, essential items, devices, signposting and referrals, 6 month digital tutoring programme ran by our volunteer tutors, and a listening ears as this was evident people needed someone to talk to.
We continue to support families and individuals to help make a difference to their lives .
Your generous donation can help make a difference.
We receive donations of devices and refurbish them to go out back into the community with a donation received as all devices incurs a cost to be fixed.
The break down per refurbished device purchased from computer aid is £85 per unit £15 for windows 10 to be installed per device equal to £100 per device and software.
For 10 families this will be £1000 required to raise to offer support.
1 X Amazon Tablet for a family in need (£50.00) Fuel costs to cover the expenses of our generous Community volunteers so they are not out of pocket. Website costs, storage units, and overhead project costs. We think this is a really effective way to support families in Hackney and offering support to individuals and other organisations in other borough's that has reached out to our service, as we are offering a long-term solution to an urgent need. So far we have been able to provide over 500 plus people with a digital device , and have currently 2 families and 8 individuals including referrals from hestia, Shaw Trust and other services requiring a device on the waiting list with more requests coming in weekly. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without your generous support, So Thank You! Continue to Follow us to keep updated on everything we’re doing:
@ www.bridgethegaplondon.co.uk https://www.instagram.com/btgfin/