Bridget Murphy – Swinnow Community Centre
Bridget Murphy has been a volunteer at Swinnow Community Centre for nearly two years. More than anything she loves the face-to-face work of being around people and helping them do things! She feels her drive comes from having a chronic illness since she was young. It’s made her very resilient and determined, and passionate about giving people a voice.
Bridget is clearly not one of those managers who won’t roll up their sleeves and clean the toilets! She’s passionate about turning the community centre around and particularly loves starting new things that will make a real difference within the community, such as the new Friday Lunch Club, for people aged 50+, that they’re starting with support from BEA.
“We’re making something happen together that the whole community can be proud of – what’s not to like?!”
Bridget’s role is to develop the Community Centre, to make it a thriving, viable place where people can enjoy themselves and build up skills and confidence She works with an amazing team of volunteers (such as Jean who has transformed the garden) and with great support from the three local Councillors. With her colleague Yvonne, she makes sure the centre is open and running daily. She also leads on funding, strategic planning and working with local agencies and organisations to create projects and partnerships.
Bridget wants to help more older people know what’s available to them, and create opportunities to stay involved in the community.
“Older people are not on the scrap-heap – not in my book – and they have huge amounts to give.”
Before coming to Swinnow Bridget was the co-founder of St Vincent’s, which was set up to support people in extreme poverty and help them get out of the debt cycle. She was born in Leeds. Her Irish parents came here from Belfast in the late 50’s. Her Dad had a degree, but that didn’t mean anything because he was an immigrant, and he worked in the forge.
Bridget loves the piano and languages. She’s learnt Finnish and French, and wants to learn Spanish next.
Get in touch Bridget on 0113 256 6576 if you would like to know more about Swinnow Community Centre, or volunteer there.