Bridge Builders donor circle

The Bridge of Hope Foundation (BoH) works to reduce the barriers faced by some of the most at risk members of Australian society and helps them to overcome vulnerability, disadvantage and exclusion. Our programs target children and young people in, and leaving, out-of-home care; teenage mothers; disadvantaged youth and the wrongly convicted. We are establishing a network of support services to help stop young people in care from becoming involved in the youth justice or adult prison systems, experiencing homeless or worse; support their education and transition to independence; and help them to develop important life skills.

Our achievements to date have been considerable thanks to the dedication of our volunteers, generosity of our partners and supporters and lean approach to minimise administration costs. Some of these achievements include:

  • The BoH Innocence Initiative at RMIT commenced in 2014 and has received 60 applications from people who claim innocence. Of these 4 have been accepted for full reinvestigation, 54 are at various stages of review and assessment and 2 have been rejected. The program has attracted students from multiple universities, provided a unique 'real world' educational experience to approximately 100 students, attracted considerable media interest, contributed to the body of knowledge on wrongful convictions and offers applicants an opportunity to have their cases reinvestigated on a pro bono basis when all other avenues have been exhausted.
  • The BoH Miscarriages of Justice Forum hosted by RMIT in 2015 brought together a panel of leading Victorian criminal justice experts, including former Supreme Court Judge The Hon Frank Vincent, to discuss the issue of miscarriages of justice, causal factors, steps being taken to reduce their incidence and how better to facilitate a correction where a wrongful conviction has occurred. The forum was extremely well-attended and received and was covered extensively in the media. 
  • The proposed BoH Social Justice Project at RMIT will address other types of injustice on a pro bono basis while providing real world experience to students in a registered workplace, with a pilot program due to commence in early 2017.
  • The proposed BoH Leaving Care program for teenage girls transitioning from out-of-home care to independent living will offer a network of support services and one on one peer mentoring targeting the 80 most vulnerable girls leaving care in Victoria each year.   
  • The proposed BoH Out of Home Care Educational Assistance program will offer educational books and tools, including iPads and computers, to children and young people living in out-of-home care.
  • The proposed BoH L2P Driver Licence program for disadvantaged youth, developed in partnership with VicRoads and the TAC and sponsored by Budget and the RACV, will offer an additional 250 places statewide and is expected to commence in 2017.  

We have, however, reached a critical juncture as an organisation and are in need of philanthropic support to continue and expand upon BoH’s vital work.

Why 'Bridge Builders'?

A bridge provides safe passage from one destination to the next, is a connection between people and a bond we share with our community. It enables us to overcome obstacles and helps us to carry on with our journey.

Bridge Builders - a community of benefactors with a passion for social justice - has been established to assist BoH through leadership and annual philanthropic support. As a Bridge Builders member, your tax deductible donation is an investment in the people, systems and technology that allow us to plan and implement our programs. By joining this community, members will play an important and ongoing role in enabling BoH to secure its core team, recruit, screen and train volunteers and develop and deliver much-needed programs to help turn vulnerable lives around and set them on a path with a brighter future.

Join Bridge Builders to become part of a group of people that, collectively, will:

  • Promote an Australian legal culture which champions the defence of the innocent and protects the marginalised and oppressed.
  • Assist young people to successfully transition from out of home care to independent living in a supportive community
  • Help disadvantaged young people to overcome obstacles and gain the skills necessary to set them on a path to a brighter future

The cost of matching volunteers to young people

The average cost of matching one volunteer mentor to one young person in our leaving care and L2P programs, excluding ongoing match support, is approximately $1,000: 

  • Volunteer recruiting (3 hours)                          $   90
  • Volunteer screening and training (16 hours) $  480
  • Volunteer safety checks (7 hours)                   $  210
  • Match introductions (2 hours)                         $   60
  • Operational costs                                               $  160
  • Total                                                                     $1,000  

What's in it for you?

As a Bridge Builders member, you too are passionate about social justice and assisting and empowering some of the most at risk members of our society. You will join a team of like-minded individuals committed to helping BoH make a positive difference to vulnerable lives and help determine which programs we prioritise to make the most impact. Bridge Builders attend our member events with our patrons, when available, and receive regular updates on our programs. The ability to network with other Bridge Builders further enhances the difference you can make. Plus, your donation has far greater impact than it would alone.

As a valued Bridge Builders member, you also receive a Bridge Builders lapel pin, a certificate of appreciation as well as recognition on our website and in the Annual Report. Plus we encourage you to include the Bridge Builders logo on your website, social media and promotional material.

Join Bridge Builders today

There are three levels of membership available - individual, business and corporate.

Individual member

Individual member Bridge Builders will each help match one volunteer mentor to the needs of one young person by donating $1,000 per annum, or $85 per month.

Business member

Business member Bridge Builders commit to donating $4,500 per annum, or $380 per month. This enables up to five people to attend our events and influence how Bridge Builders' collective donation is directed. Almost five volunteer matches can be made each year from your donation. Your donation also entitles you to utilise the services of a tertiary student intern to assist your business while providing the intern with valuable on the job experience. 

Corporate member

Corporate member Bridge Builders commit to donating $10,000 per annum, or $840 per month. This enables up to twelve people to attend our events and influence how Bridge Builders' collective donation is directed. Ten volunteer matches can be made each year from your donation. Your donation also entitles you to utilise the services of two tertiary student interns to assist your organisation while providing the interns with valuable on the job experience.

Click here to go the Bridge Builders Registration form and become a Bridge Builder today.