The Bridge Charity works to provide for investigation and innovation in special education. Money raised through the charity also helps to develop resources across The Bridge London Trust, which cannot be funded within conventional school funding formulas. Our charity was originally founded in 1989 and called The Bridge School Parent Staff Association. Our purpose, then and now, is to enhance the learning experience of all of our children and young people across the Trust and to be a pioneer in the research and innovation which comes from working with these amazing students.
Our pupils have very complicated needs. We are committed to working side by side with parents and in a truly integrated way with other professionals. We seek new strategies so that we can find the best possible way to educate all of the pupils in our school.
With a fantastic, generous and supportive donation awarded by The Worshipful Company of Fan Makers; Mary Kitson, Stephen Jedburgh and Geoffrey Cannell, we can develop our Forest School even further, with new plans for landscaping including planters, ponds and Bug Hotels!
Thank you Fan Makers!
On 25th June this year, our relationship with the fabulous people at Woodbridge School, combined with the overarching Seckford Foundation, extended to an astounding TWENTY FIVE years!
The usual route between Woodbridge School [Suffolk] and The Bridge in Islington has been curtailed in recent times due to COVID but the unphased and determined Woodbridgians simply found an alternative route to continue their support. The birth of The Suffolk Saunter ……
This year, up to 75 cyclists set off at 07.00 from Woodbridge School on one of two routes around Suffolk, covering either 79 miles or 60 miles, and returning to the school by 17.00. Stunning!!
Over £250,000 has been raised for the children across our Trust through these annual pilgrimages and the unstinting generosity of those taking part, their families, colleagues and friends.
This year, to celebrate the 25th anniversary we have created the Michael Streat & Woodbridge Special Teaching Award – a bursary for those graduates across our Trust aiming to take the final step to becoming teachers in achieving Qualified Teacher Status. These are often individuals that have completed their degrees without having a defined career path, and having worked in our schools as Teaching Assistants, reached an epiphany …… ‘I can do this, I can make a difference EVERY day, this is where I want to be’.
Michael Streat is the finest individual! He was Deputy Headteacher at Woodbridge until quite recently and has taken something of a step back in his role there to further enjoy pursuits and the beauty around him. I truly don’t believe those pursuits will be entirely ‘leisurely’ considering the mettle and drive of this man. Following the first set of restrictions in 2020, we were all resigned to the fact that there was to be an inevitable pause in our long-standing relationship and tradition. Actually, not quite ‘all’ were resigned. That was the year Michael came up with a new plan. To ride 200km solo from Chelmsford to London, touch the gates of The Bridge and then turn around and head back – accompanied for a leg of the journey by two of our parents [both named John …. one who is Chair of our charity and another who is a long-standing Parent Governor at The Bridge]. Herculean!
Michael was the very first visitor from Woodbridge to our Bridge School 25 years ago and he was also the catalyst for many, many more. From that first year, he organized annual visits for up to 15 sixth formers to gain an insight into our Special World for up to a week. The experience of working in class, supporting our young people and learning from our class teachers and teaching assistants was awe inspiring and indeed life changing for many. Possibly life changing because they would also camp on our sports hall floor at night and then clear away each morning first thing, ready to start the day! We sincerely hope to resume these truly valued visits over the next academic year.
Throughout the years so many of the young Woodbridgians have supported us through their own endeavours and cycle challenges, but are now also coming to join us as teaching assistants or volunteers, something we are genuinely hoping to further develop as part of our special relationship.
So, to Woodbridge, to everyone that has taken part and/or contributed so generously, THANK YOU from everyone at The Bridge for making such a difference to the lives of our young people. AND especially to Michael, the man that made it all happen, we salute you and thank you for everything that you have done for our young people and for the young people of Woodbridge!! That’s simply thanks and not farewell …….
A special thanks also to Andy [Garvie] at Woodbridge who took up the reins/handlebars for this year’s Suffolk Saunter – seamlessly coordinated and another superb event on this auspicious anniversary, not to mention the incredible donations. AND it’s not too late to show your appreciation for everyone’s efforts by pushing the total over the £5k mark. Please, simply follow the link below if you would like to show your support;
Our amazing supporters completed a Woodbridge to Edinburgh Charity bike ride covering a 450 mile journey over 5 days, a real challenge!
We are thrilled to have been supported by the Lord’s Taverners in 2017 who gave us a grant to install some fantastic play equipment into The ILS garden. The project was completed in the summer term of 2018, and our pupils are delighted with the transformation!
In October 2018, we were honoured to welcome Sir Michael Parkinson and representatives of the Lord’s Taverners to The ILS, to see first hand how we utilised the grant to create an exciting outdoor space for our pupils. Staff and pupils alike truly appreciated the visit, and the opportunity to thank our supporters personally.information on this project.
Our local NISA store on York Way has very generously made The Bridge their very first nomination in the groups national charity scheme! That’s £1000 toward resources for our children. Making a Difference Locally [MADL] is a charity launched to help independently run, local Nisa stores add value to their communities by allowing them to nominate charities or good causes that are local to them.
The charity helps Nisa stores raise money through the sale of certain products in-store, including all of Nisa’s own-label Heritage range. Every time an item included in the scheme is purchased (look out for the MADL logo), a proportion of the price is added to the store’s MADL fund and this is then donated to good causes in that store’s local area. THANK YOU so much to store owner, Haroon and Store Manager, Sophia for truly Making a Difference.
The Bridge Secondary School has recently been in receipt of a traverse wall for their playdeck, thanks to a successful grant application to the Cloudesley Foundation.
Recreational space within our purpose built school buildings are extremely limited, whilst a large number of our young people are tremendously energetic. They require a range of physical outlets to support their sensory, health and well-being needs.
Climbing supports child development in a number of ways and without the assistance and generous support of the Cloudesley Foundation, our young people would not now be cherishing a new safe space in which they challenge themselves; play both alone and collaboratively; grow, exercise and develop their movement and well being.
We would love to say a massive thank you to the London Medical Orchestra for their brilliant performance at St. Mellitus Church in support of our charity. The orchestra played Strauss, Mozart and Elgar, and the audience seemed thoroughly entertained, thanking us as they left after the concert.
Thank you LMO!