What is a Bridge Connector?
Bridge Connectors are existing beneficiaries who have experience of being involved in Bridge Northumberland. They will have developed new skills from the support, learning and training received from any partner, Bridge Worker or staff member. They will be able to share their experience and understanding of the programme with a new beneficiary coming into Bridge Northumberland and will be able to support the new beneficiary’s development in a number of ways.
They will be able to provide 1:1 support to new beneficiaries in a variety of roles including (but not exclusive to);
- A befriending role; giving the new beneficiary support and confidence to stay on the programme
- Supporting new beneficiaries in attending appointments and interviews (GP/Citizen Advice/volunteering interviews)
- Support in accessing foodbanks and shopping on a budget
- Supporting beneficiaries to engage in new hobbies and community activities including volunteering
- Working with the Bridge Workers, through the Co-ordinator, to provide identified support when required
- Supporting a new beneficiary whilst undertaking training
- Recruiting new beneficiaries onto Bridge Northumberland
- Facilitating and being involved in Bridge Connector Forum meetings
- Supporting beneficiaries when moving into Supported Volunteering
- Supporting with independent travel
The Bridge Connector will be supported by a Project Co-ordinator, who will liaise with the Bridge Workers and other partners to “match” the Connector with a new beneficiary. Ongoing support will be provided by the co-ordinator, either through 1:1 meetings or group support sessions. Further training will be provided as Bridge Connector roles develop.
The Bridge Connector will be able to share their experiences of the project with the beneficiary, should have good listening skills, be patient, be able to support others who are less confident, be willing to undertake continuous training/learning and be non-judgemental.
As a result, their confidence will increase, their skills and knowledge will be enhanced, and they will gain further transferrable skills to move into a positive outcome.