Springtime at the Bridge

My name is Lucie and I took over as General Manager at the end of last year. This is my first newsletter in my new role so I wanted to take the time to introduce myself and a few new things that The Bridge is working towards.

I’m a local mum with two young daughters, two older step children and a past career in large scale, high profile event management. I became involved at The Bridge as a volunteer in 2013 and really have a huge passion for the centre. It was a lifeline to me as a new mum in the area and I’ve made some life long friends through it. I’m really pleased to be the new GM and hope we can make a big difference to our brilliant community.

Firstly, let me mention that our Christmas event was so successful in 2018, we had nearly 140 children visit Father Christmas in our FREE grotto so thank you for your support.

With Christmas behind us, we really just cannot wait for Spring. So much so, we’ve dedicated a whole new event to it’s arrival…On Saturday 23rd March, we will be hosting Springtime at The Bridge. It will include our much loved Easter egg hunt and trail but also, Mother’s Day gift making, seed planting and pot decorating, market stalls and face painting. We want our events to cater for everyone so entrance to the event is FREE (there will be a small charge for the egg hunt/trail). As usual, the under 5s will take place in The Bridge itself and the over 5s trail will take place in the Pleasaunce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day is the following Sunday, so there will be a range of gifts and cards to make and buy. To celebrate the return of our Gardening Club, Ruth will be seed planting and pot decorating. We think it will be a great  addition to our events programme so please put the date in your diaries.

 

 

 

You might have noticed, we’ve made some changes to our weekly schedule. We will be replacing our afternoon stay and play sessions with regular workshops, courses and one off sessions targeting different sectors of the community. We will be posting information on these as and when they are running. Please follow us on Facebook/Twitter  @thebridgese10 where you can find live updates.

We are currently planning some Parent Child Attachment groups and have lots of other ideas in the pipeline. If you have any suggestions or would like to run a group yourself, we are always looking for new ideas and new volunteers.

Our morning sessions continue as normal – Tuesday is Stay, Play & Explorewith Kim & Kath; Wednesday is Stay, Play & Create with Kim & Jessica and Friday is Stay, Play & Dig (including Forest School session) with Ruth.  The small admission charge includes unlimited tea, coffee and snacks.

Don’t forget, on Monday mornings we host Creation Station, Thursday is Frogprince Music and we hold Toddler Football on a Friday morning before Ruth’s stay and play session. Also we are home to The Holly Tree Club Out of School Childcare Specialists Monday to Friday.  Please visit www.thehollytreeclub.com for more information.

How Schooling Group

Our first new initiative is a practical and emotional support group for home schooling families. This now takes place every Wednesday 12.30pm – 2.30pm and is run by Elina and Zoya. We already have a few regular attendees and there’s a Whatsapp group to keep in touch and find out what the sessions will involve. Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

Gardening Club

Gardening Club has started again on Monday afternoons.  Please check our Facebook @thebridgese10 for updates.

Other News
One of the first jobs when I took on the role was to get the centre deep cleaned and have some maintenance work carried out. A lot of children have a lot of fun with us (which we love) but we needed to start 2019 with a big old clean up!
We are also looking to invest some money in playground maintenance. I’m not sure if you know, but The Bridge is actually a not-for-profit Community Interest Company. So all the profit we make from our sessions, party hire and events, is re-invested in to the centre. Because you help us by supporting our intiatives, we think it’s really important that you get to have your say as to what we spend the money on. We will be posting a survey online soon so please spare a few minutes to have your say. We are run BY the community, FOR the community so we really value your input. Please take some time to fill in our online survey which I will be adding to the website soon.
The newsletter will be quarterly, Spring – Summer – Autumn  – Winter. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you wish to opt out of receiving them.

Thanks again for all your support. We couldn’t do it without you.

 

Lucie & The Bridge Team

 

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The beautiful new Willow Arch, opened recently, is a great addition to compliment the Forest School opened last year. The willow arch has been a genuine collaboration of so many in the local community- all made possible in the first place through a generous gift from a local family, celebrating the christening of their child.
After careful thought and planning, The Bridge, approached the Parks department at Greenwich Council who kindly donated the willow rods, talented local metal craftsman Danny Herridge, who constructed the beautiful iron framework, and volunteers from local charitable keep fit group, GoodGym Greenwich, who came to the rescue with the challenging planting that was required! GoodGym provide hands-on project support for not-for-profit groups and during two evening running sessions GoodGym Greenwich volunteers lifted, carried, dug, positioned and planted before continuing on their running route!

Last year The Bridge was awarded  £7701 from the Big Lottery Fund for creation of a new “green zone” and improvements to the forest school area.  The grant will help to fund Forest School Leadership training fees, gardening and outdoor-play equipment, and installation of gates and benches for the multi-functional outdoor area known as the ‘Green Zone @ The Bridge’. The Green Zone aims to encourage parents and children to work together to develop their understanding of, and skills relating to, the natural environment within the urban setting. It encompasses The Bridge’s existing Gardening Club, which runs weekly sessions for pre-schoolers, the Forest School launched earlier this year, and habitats for wildlife such as bee and bug boxes and a wormery, as well as providing a teaching resource through a series of compost bins, which will be constructed with the help of Age UK Bromley & Greenwich’s ‘Men in Sheds’ group. The compost bins and wormery aim to turn suitable food waste from the centre’s users, such as apple cores and vegetable peelings, into compost and liquid fertiliser to be used by the Gardening Club, helping children to understand and visualise the consequences and benefits of recycling.

For more information about the Bridge, including timetables, visit its website or its Facebook group.

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