At a glance


  • Arts
  • Children / families
  • Faith and ethics
  • Learning disabilities / difficulties
  • Local / community
  • Mental health
  • Older people / later life
  • Poverty relief
  • Training / employment support
  • Voluntary sector support
  • Young people

Other details

Organisation type: 
Geographical remit: 


According to BRIDGES 1993 trust deed, the key objectives are:

  1. to establish and maintain an ecumenical centre in Edenbridge
  2. to provide rest, refreshment, support, to people of all ages, particularly the elderly, families with young children, the unemployed, isolated, or distressed people in accordance with the social mission, ethics and values of the Christian Church, and to promote the needs of developing countries throughout the world.

The BRIDGES Centre - a refurbished listed former chapel in Edenbridge High Street provides the 'neutral' safe space to welcome all.  The Community Cafe is open Mon-Fri  mornings, run by volunteers under the guidance of paid staff.  The manager and her assistant provide the continuity and planning that has enabled BRIDGES to be a central hub linking the community since the Centre opened in 1995.

Edenbridge is a small town, transport links to larger towns are poor, so BRIDGES hosts information clinics to enable access to advice from statutory and voluntary agencies regularly, and occasionally as needs arise.  The town has pockets of deprivation, and social isolation. BRIDGES provides a friendly welcome and a listening ear, inexpensive homemade refreshments, and volunteering opportunities to serve the community. 

The Trustees raise funds for pump-priming projects that address needs that are not being met by other agencies.   BRIDGES works in partnership with other agencies to achieve specific aims, particularly to strengthen the resources supporting people who live in this community and its surrounding villages, e.g. Edenbridge Food Bank, Eden Christian Trust (youth work), Carers First, local churches, Age Concern, Crosslight (debt advice), Hi-Kent (hearing aid servicing), Involve Kent, West Kent MIND.    The staff signpost enquirers to available help, and organise advice clinics at the Centre to save people having long journeys to larger towns.  Our staff were recruited as Community Connectors for Sevenoaks District Council during the Covid lockdown periods.  


Over 400 volunteers from all backgrounds have helped to run the Community Cafe since it opened in 1995. Winning the Most Valued Amenity Award from the Residents' Association  in 1997, BRIDGES was Runner Up in 2016 Sevenoaks District Council's 'Making it Happen' Charity of the Year award.

BRIDGES runs a Community Cafe on Mon-Fri mornings, currently limited by a reduced number of volunteers available since Covid restrictions eased on 17.5.21. A ‘Place of Welcome’ is open on Friday afternoons with free refreshments. Community groups can run their own events on Saturdays, and the Centre is available for hire at other times. The BRIDGES Centre is hired regularly for Alcoholics Anonymous, funeral wakes, christening & birthday parties, business and public meetings for up to 50 people.

Current projects at other times of day are geared to meeting post-Covid issues, developing support groups that address social isolation, mental health and wellbeing, concerns regarding financial insecurity, learning to cook healthy meals on a budget, providing catch-up sessions for primary school children

BRIDGES contributes to Edenbridge's status as a Fair Trade Town by selling Fairly Traded refreshments and promoting Traidcraft plc. BRIDGES encourages awareness and action on ethical issues, sustainability, climate change awareness, and the needs of developing countries.

An Art Therapist runs BRIDGES Creative Café, and Dandelion Café (for seniors) which provide sociable opportunities to enjoy creative activities. Folk Musicians play a monthly lunchtime session, and the work of local artists is regularly on display.

Previous projects include a Summer Holiday Meals Club, Cook and Eat Supper club, Holiday at Home, Homework Club, Allsorts Holiday Playscheme & After school Club.  Trustees and Managers keep alert to new issues and unmet needs, finding partnerships that can create projects to meet them.  In some cases e.g. the Forget-me-not Dementia Café, having proved the need, other organisations have taken on the project at larger premises.

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