What are the main benefits of getting involved with Bridges?
We offer the opportunity for people to interact with others they might not normally meet, expanding their understanding of their community and the world. We do this by connecting individuals and communities from different backgrounds, and by providing opportunities for people to travel and gain a global perspective. We truly believe that friendships have the potential to change our perceptions of the 'other', and to enrich our lives!
How is Bridges funded?
Bridges is funded by individuals and by partner organisations who believe in our vision and who want to contribute towards it. In addition, the b.friend project has received some funding from grant-making bodies. Up until now Bridges has not recieved any funding from the government. If you would like to partner with Bridges financially to help us impact more people, please see the 'Donate' page.
Is Bridges a faith-based organisation?
No, we are 'faith-inspired', but not 'faith-based'. By this we mean that the charity was founded by people who were in part motivated by their faith as followers of Jesus, and we hope this is reflected in the values and the work of the charity today. But we are not 'faith-based' in that people are welcome to participate in and contribute to Bridges whatever their faith background.
What motivates you?
People may be involved in Bridges work for a whole host of different reasons. Some may be motivated by social concern, others by their faith or by a desire to make a difference. Those of us who started the charity were motivated by a common concern at the lack of understanding and the tension that we saw in our society, especially in the rise of Islamophobia which we saw as contrary to the principles of the teachings of Jesus. We were also concerned by the fear and lack of understanding that appear to exist on all sides.
Does Bridges for Communities seek to promote any particular culture or faith?
No, Bridges does not exist for the promotion of any one culture or faith, but for the promotion of friendship and understanding between people of different cultures and faiths. We do seek to create safe spaces for people from different backgrounds to talk about what they believe in helpful ways, recognising both similarities and differences, and learning from one another in the process.
Is your work focussed only on Christians and Muslims?
No, we are open to the involvement of people of all faiths and none. However, two of the areas we are most concerned about in our post-9/11 world are the relationship between Christians and Muslims and between the ‘West’ and the Middle East. Therefore, we have given special priority to these relationships.
What happens after events that you organise?
Our aim is simply to be a connector and a catalyst in and between communities, bridging the gap that often exists. The hope is that our programs will impact the individuals and communities involved, leading to new and lasting friendships. What comes out of that interaction or within the friendships that develop are up to the individuals involved.
How can I get involved or start programs where I live?
We would love to talk to anyone interested in getting involved or organising programs in their own community! This could involved organising a Peace Feast, setting up a b.friend program to support asylum seekers and refugees, or other ideas you may have. Please get in touch with us at here
How do you measure the impact of Bridges?
We have seen people's lives impacted in numerous ways by their involvement in Bridges. These include: ongoing friendships with people of different cultures and faiths; people willing to adventure to new cultures and take risks; raised awareness of communities living in their city; individuals’ personal growth & development; people studying a foreign language; growth in the numbers of people involved in events like Peace Feast.