The 1980s saw much hard work come to fruition with the opening of the Adult Unit in 1982. In conjunction with families, the staff developed programs that included interstate trips, night classes and sporting activities. Early ventures into employment opportunities provided participants with a chance to learn manual, clerical and retail skills.
During this time, community support was still essential. Beyond the volunteer committee members and staff, many people, particularly parents, gave their time in all sorts of ways. Whether fundraising in the community to cover the shortfall between government grants and the costs of running programs, or supporting activities for their children, parents had an integral involvement in The Bridge.
“(My wife) was one of those people involved in the fundraising…tin rattling, selling raffle tickets…which is such an integral part of our existence. The unsung heroes.”
Joe de Souza, Parent and Committee member, 2020 Oral History interview