Ben Tinkler

Bridge Creative

Bridge Creative is a small, lived-experience-led social enterprise based in County Durham, supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults to reach their potential and gain meaningful paid employment. At the beginning of the pandemic, they were called to action to deliver a Keeping People Connected service, supporting people across the county to keep safe, well and connected. The service was a region-wide response, led by 14 partner organisations across the North East and Cumbria, of which Bridge Creative was one of, set up in response to evidence suggesting that adults with learning disabilities would be significantly affected by coronavirus. The team have supported over 170 adults with learning disabilities and/or autism across County Durham, including a number of people who had no other involvement in services. Each member of the team working on the Keeping People Connected service has a learning disability, difficulty and/or autism which has enabled a fantastic bond between the team and the people accessing the service, meaning people could relate to the issues being faced and a greater level of trust developed. This also meant that people felt comfortable opening up to the team and disclosing issues which otherwise may have gone unnoticed.