Bridges Project welcomed its first referrals 30 years ago when staff were based in a small office in Cranston Street, Edinburgh. At that time, our main focus was in helping young tenants across the Lothians to make a success of their new homes. Poverty, social isolation, anxiety, poorly connected social anchors, unemployment and welfare reform were just some of the issues young people and staff had to deal with on a daily basis.
Some things do not change much. Whilst the Project has grown and services have been developed to meet growing need, many of the old personal barriers and structural obstacles remain for young people trying to make their way in the world. Optimism, motivation, determination, resilience and a desire to succeed were the key strengths staff used back then to help young people build positive pathways to good futures.
These attributes are alive and well today and the whole team at Bridges Project was delighted to showcase just some the incredible work undertaken by young people at our 30th birthday Open Day. 125 visitors were treated to live music and video productions, home cooking, art work and personal pathway presentations. Staff, young people and trustees were delighted by the show of good will to Bridges Project from parents, colleagues in the private, public and voluntary sector and by elected representatives.
Young people were heavily involved in developing our new strap line which was launched on the day. It feels very apt; whilst it is good to reflect on the past and learn from it, we need our young people to reach out to what lies ahead and we hope, very much to be inspiring young people to build a confident future for many years to come.