Communities can be strengthened by bringing people together
Letter to Friends around the World # 89

Bridging the Gap is a charity based in the Gorbals area of Glasgow with over 15 years experience of working with people from different backgrounds and cultures. They want to support families, create inclusive communities and inspire young people.

To give children the best possible start in life we support parents by providing places for their children to meet, play and learn. Our pre-baby and toddler groups are called Rowdy Rascals. We also offer free family communication courses.

Bridging the Gap passionately believes that you can build and strengthen communities by bringing people together. At our weekly drop-in called Big Thursdays, people are guaranteed a warm welcome and fun activities. These include a men's group, children’s ‘Big Messy Play’ and singing time. You will also find a fruit and vegetable shop and lively discussion groups. An open lunch is provided where people take turns to cook their own cultural dishes.

With local primary schools, we created an Understanding Each Other programme so children can have a better understanding of asylum issues. Through games and quizzes that help to raise awareness, the children also have the opportunity to meet asylum seekers and hear their own personal stories.

Our schools transition programme works with young people with a particular focus on easing the transition between primary and secondary schools. Young people from the local high schools, support the primary school children to be more confident and flourish. It also gives the secondary school pupils a sense of responsibility and provides opportunities for personal development.

Bridging the Gap aims to work across divides that are apparent in the community by providing opportunities for young people to discover common ground. It works towards talking about some of the tensions that exist amongst young people, including sectarianism.

Recently during a Big Thursday, a discussion group spoke about future themes for 17 October and someone said "How can we get the whole community involved in overcoming poverty? Education on social justice at a young age gives the next generation a bigger voice."  Bridging the Gap regularly help to celebrate the day around the commemorative stone in George Square.