Making a Difference

Our Impact

Every year Bede benefits over 2,000 people through our many projects and activities. These take place throughout Bermondsey, Rotherhithe and other parts of Southwark, in areas of greatest need. Our work is delivered through four programmes designed to

  • alleviate the effects of poverty
  • increase education and employment prospects
  • reduce isolation and create fresh purpose
  • improve health and wellbeing
  • care for our environment

Respected, Valued and Active

Bede Learning Disabilities Service supports a wide range of people. Among these, some need one-to-one attention while others have the potential to find paid work.

Over the past year

  • 99 individuals benefitted from a choice of 36 activity sessions. Our stimulating programme includes art, music, dance, drama, gardening, cooking, volunteering and sport.
  • 19 people trained in our Bede Cafe, serving an average of 35 customers each day.
  • 39 volunteers with a learning disability gave 3,400 hours of service to 67 elderly neighbours.
  • we hosted over 60 special events including parties, day trips and fairs.
  • teams of learning disability volunteers worked in our wildlife garden and Southwark Park allotment.
  • we trained and employed three people who have a mild learning disability to become Travel Buddies. They now accompany clients to and from Bede using public transport.
A Bede Cafe worker brings lunch to people sitting at a table.

Clubs and Camps for Young People

Bede Youth runs clubs with a strong adventure theme for youngsters aged 8-19. We also take young people into the countryside to discover a world of animals and open spaces. With us, young people make friends and discover positive, exciting things to do.

Over the past year

  • 401 young people aged 8-19 attended 1,867 activities.
  • 176 regular members attended our four evening clubs and street sessions.
  • former members returned from university or college to help as volunteers.
  • 24 young people enjoyed a five-day summer camp in Kent.

Building Safer Lives

Bede: Ending Domestic Abuse enables women and men suffering domestic violence to rebuild their lives. Most of our Bede Starfish project clients are women, including many with children. Of these, the majority have been in abusive relationships over five years.

  • Surveys of former clients show that around 90% are living far safer lives after Bede’s help.
  • External agencies, such as social services, report major improvements in clients’ mental health.
  • Our specialist teams help resolve complex issues such as housing, immigration status and child protection.

At Bede we

  • work one-to-one for as long as is necessary to achieve a successful outcome.
  • help clients seek court orders to protect their safety.
  • accompany clients to court hearings.
  • provide in-depth support for long-term issues.
  • organise Freedom Programmes and Survivors’ Groups for ongoing peer support.

Over the past year

  • we have helped 198 clients.
  • 225 children benefited from a safer home.
  • 12 out of 20 children living with 15 clients stayed with their mothers instead of being taken into care.
  • we gave 129 Food Bank vouchers to the 38% of our clients with no money for basic necessities.
  • 70 cases went to court. Of these, Bede staff were able to attend 20 – all of which were successful. Limited resources prevented Bede from attending the remaining 50 cases. Of these, 35 (75%) succeeded.

Bringing Local People Together

Bede in the Community brings together the people of our neighbourhoods in many different ways.

  • We create volunteering opportunities, so people can help each other and make new friends.
  • Staff from local businesses get involved in our fairs and events.
  • Community groups use our halls for meetings and activities.
  • We have close links with Millwall Football Club. They support our teams playing in the local Disability Football Special League and tournaments. Bede won the League in 2019.
  • In 2019 we completed a two-year study of Millwall FC’s relationship with the changing local community. A major focus was the history of their supporters from diverse ethnic backgrounds.
  • During the coronavirus crisis, we helped distribute food to local people in need. We also kept in contact with those most at risk of isolation.