A crucial fundraising event that was almost cancelled when it was unable to secure a main sponsor will now go ahead thanks to the generosity of Associated British Ports (ABP).
BRIDGEfriends is a Christian outreach programme that works with some of Grimsby’s most vulnerable women. Some of the work involves visiting the most desperate on the streets of the town, offering a befriending service and support with the provision of clothes and food.
The BRIDGEfriends team also works with other agencies to offer advice and guidance for those women who would like to get their lives back on track.
The organisation currently uses an old vehicle which is not fit for purpose. This vehicle acts as a kitchen, office and a consultation area, where the volunteers can talk to the women in private.
The team is currently trying to raise the funds needed to purchase a new vehicle that will improve safety whilst offering the space and layout required to meet the needs of the volunteers and the women they help.
Team leader and volunteer Dawn Leonard explains: “BRIDGEfriends offers a vital lifeline to some of Grimsby’s most vulnerable women. Whether it be a meal, a warm drink, a kind ear, or guidance and support, what we do is important.
“Many of these girls have very little and don’t eat regularly or have anyone to talk to. They really enjoy our visits and benefit greatly from the support offered.
“But many times it’s not just about a hot drink and a chat, some of these people have a very strong desire to turn their lives around and remove themselves from the situations they find themselves in, they just don’t know how. We can help them do that and when it happens, it’s fantastic.”
The volunteers had organised a cabaret evening at Grimsby’s Humber Royal Hotel in order to raise the money needed to buy a new van, but without a main sponsor they would be dependent on a full sell out to simply cover costs and it was feared they were going to have to cancel the event.
“It was an awful feeling, ” Dawn continued. “We had worked really hard to organise everything and the money from the main sponsor would have been used to cover costs, meaning all ticket sales could be put towards the new BRIDGEfriends vehicle.
“The event would have raised awareness of the work we do, but without a sponsor we wouldn’t have raised any funds, which was the purpose.”
However the team didn’t need to worry as the event will now go ahead as planned thanks to ABP, which stepped in at the last minute and saved the BRIDGEfriends charity evening.
When ABP Port Manager Grimsby & Immingham Mike Sellers found out about the group’s plight he was determined to help.
“After speaking to BRIDGEfriends and finding out about the fantastic work they do we were keen to help in any way we could.
“ABP is committed to supporting the communities in which it operates and this was a group of people – the BRIDGEfriends themselves and the women they work with – who really needed our assistance. We were only too pleased to step in and support them and I’m delighted the cabaret evening can now go ahead as the BRIDGEfriends planned.”
Founder of BRIDGEfriends Sue Jewitt was delighted when she found out ABP had stepped in to save the day. She said: “I really wanted to express my thanks when I heard about ABP’s kind offer. I was touched and overwhelmed by their support, this has made such a difference and all money raised can go towards purchasing the outreach vehicle, we are so grateful they have helped.”
The BRIDGEfriends ‘Dream a Dream’ Cabaret Evening will take place at the Humber Royal Hotel on Friday 17th October. Tickets cost £15.50 and can be purchased online at www.bridgefriends.org.uk
ABP is the UK’s leading ports operator with 21 ports and other transport related businesses creating a unique national network capable of handling a vast array of cargo.
Around one quarter of the UK’s seaborne trade passes through ABP’s Statutory Harbour Areas. ABP contributes £5.6 billion to the UK economy every year and supports 84, 000 jobs. Our current investment programme promises to deliver an extra £1.75 billion for the economy every year.
· Handled over 1.5 million vehicles in 2013.
· Generates around one quarter of the UK’s rail freight
· Has 1.4 million square metres of covered storage
· Has 1, 000 hectares of open storage
· Handled 119m tonnes of cargo in 2013
· Owns 5, 000 hectares of port estate
· Has 87km of quay
Over the next five years, ABP is investing over £650 million in a wide range of major projects across the group.
The four ports of Grimsby, Immingham, Hull and Goole handle more than 65 million tonnes of cargo between them each year.
Grimsby and Immingham form the UK’s busiest trading gateway and move around 54 million tonnes of cargo per annum.
£75 million is currently being invested in the biomass handling terminal in Immingham, in a Humber-wide agreement with Drax Power Ltd that has seen £25 million invested in a biomass handling facility in Hull. The Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal will handle sustainable biomass shipments and will create over 100 permanent jobs once complete. The construction phase has also created 100 employment opportunities.
The Port of Hull handles 10 million tonnes of cargo per annum and is the is the focal point for the development of the UK’s largest offshore wind turbine construction, assembly, and service facility, which will be located on the Port’s Alexandra Dock. This new facility, coupled with a new rotor blade manufacturing base near Paull to the east of the port estate, represents a £310 million investment and could create up to 1000 direct jobs.
The Grimsby River Terminal represents an investment of £26 million and allows large car-carrying ships to berth outside the Port’s lock system. This development confirms the Port’s position as the UK’s leading automotive handling facility.
More than the equivalent of 1million teus (twenty foot equivalent unit) of unitised trade is shipped through ABP Humber ports.
Ro-ro and container traffic represents more than 30 sailings a week to Europe, Scandinavia the Baltic and beyond.
The Humber ports handle more than 70 freight train movements per day.
Goole is situated 50 miles upriver and is the UK’s premier inland port. It handles over two million tonnes of cargo annually.