Meet The Bridges Staff

Meet The Staff

Click any of the names below to find out more about our superbly talented and dedicated team!
 

Maggie Lennon, Director

I started working with asylum seekers and refugees in 2002 by setting up the Bridges Project in response to the growing racial tension in the city following the introduction of a dispersal policy of asylum seekers to Glasgow. The programme has grown continuously since then and in 2005 became the Charity the Bridges Programmes.
 
Before working in this field I was an award winning bookseller, ran my own company and was former Editor of the Weekend Scotsman.

Initially Bridges was started with a purely humanitarian purpose to give dignity and confidence back to people who had suffered through the asylum and refugee process by re-connecting them to their skills and helping prepare them for their future where ever that would be. From 2007, with the large numbers of clients being grated leave to remain, our focus shifted more to helping them access employment education and training enabling them to become contributing citizens.

 I am fortunate to work with a dedicated and passionate team of experts in their field and have the huge satisfaction of knowing that every day we make a positive difference to people’s lives. I have seen my original idea grow into a well- respected charity both in the UK and Europe and it is the best career choice I have ever made.

Elizabeth Porter, Senior Case Worker/Employer Development Lead

I joined Bridges in May 2007 and before joining, I had worked both as a recruitment consultant responsible for staffing large accounts and within the care sector running supported employment and training programmes including Training for Work, Get Ready for Work and Work Preparation for clients furthest removed from the labour market.
 
My role within Bridges is Senior Caseworker/ Employer Development Lead and as part of the Senior Management team, my job is to research the job market and make new employer contacts with a view to placement opportunities for our clients.
 
My day to day role is to find opportunities and set up placements and to support the Case Work team with their day to day duties.
 
What I enjoy most about our clients is the range of careers; our clients come from various occupational backgrounds such as, Seismic Geologists, Architects, Civil Engineers, Teachers and Care Workers. Our clients are keen and committed to making a difference to not only their own lives, but also to the community and my challenge is to make this happen.

Elena Silich, Case Worker

I joined Bridges Programmes in 2010 but have known the company for nearly 10 years as I was originally a client. In 2008, I attended the Equipped for Future course, completed a placement at a construction company and as a result was offered a job as a Health and Safety Engineer which was my occupation in my home country.
 
After the economic downturn, the construction industry collapsed so I decided to change my career and became an Immigration Advisor for the Scottish Refugee Council.
 
Throughout this time, I was still in touch with Bridges and they offered me a role as a Data Center lab Caseworker which I welcomed as they had helped me in the past and this was my chance to share my experiences with the clients and improve their futures.
 
I arrange and manage placements with companies and organisations for the clients, recruit organisations and companies and suitable clients and represent Bridges at relevant events. I like working with the clients because I have first-hand experience going through the immigration process, have a deep understanding on what people go through to settle down in new country and I am more than happy to support clients and share my knowledge.

Amanda Crawford, Case Worker

I joined Bridges in January 2013. Prior to coming to Bridges, I worked for over 20 years for Jobcentre Plus and delivered employability training for DWP mandatory Employability Programmes – New Deal, Flexible New Deal and the Work Programme.
 
This was mainly working with long term unemployed. My role with Bridges is Caseworker and I really enjoy working with this client group. It is refreshing to work with individuals who want to work, who want to integrate into their communities and who do not want to live on benefits.
 
I enjoy my job and I get great satisfaction in knowing that on a daily basis I am assisting Bridges clients with their social and economic integration.
 
I work with a great team at Bridges and enjoy coming to work every day.

Hira Choudry, Admin Assistant

I joined Bridges through a Community Jobs Scotland training scheme in September 2011 on a 28 weeks programme and on completion was kept on as Admin Assistant, although I already knew of Bridges as I was initially a client in, attending a Life skills Programme.

Following that course I went on to study NC Business Accounting and Digital Media Computing. Working as an administrator, my responsibilities include general admin duties such as: registering clients, updating the database, preparing course materials, spread sheets and design flyers.

On a day to day basis I talk to variety of people from clients to employers ensuring everyone is treated equally. As I came through the refugee process I have a good understanding of our client group and enjoy learning about different cultures.

Meet The Staff

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