Bridges for Women Society has been providing life changing services for over 30 years

Sarah D. is one of the amazing and inspirational graduates of the Bridges to Employment Program. Before joining Bridges, Sarah struggled with breaking free of difficult destructive cycles. She was unemployed and wasn’t sure about where her life was headed.

“As I navigated my way through life, putting myself in the same situations over and over again, things just got harder and I shut down more and more,” says Sarah.

Women embracing at Bridges for Women Society event

When she first connected with Bridges for Women, Sarah enrolled in counselling only. This is a new service offering from Bridges; previously, clients were enrolled in group programs and accessed counselling at the same time. Thanks to new funding streams, Bridges is able to offer counselling to women who aren’t ready or able to enroll in the full program. The enhanced service addresses a crucial gap and enables individuals like Sarah to move forward at their own pace.

When Sarah connected with Charlene and Mary, two counsellors with Bridges, she felt like she finally had the support she always needed. She says, “As soon as I met them, I felt cared about and loved, something I realized I’ve never experienced before. I didn’t have to hold back the pain, fear, hurt, or terror anymore. I finally was somewhere safe where I could tell someone the secrets that were destroying my soul.”

While she was attending counselling, it was recommended that Sarah enroll in the Bridges Employment Program. She was reluctant at first but, says now that “it was one of the best things that ever happened to me”.

Today, after graduating from the Bridges Employment Program, Sarah reports that she is in a great situation. She started a great job with a nonprofit, quickly got promoted and is extremely happy about her new position. Sarah’s new job has a supportive environment and makes her feel cared about. She is also proud of her career because she’s working in a place that aligns with her values. She’s also now moved into her dream condo. She says she wouldn’t be in this great situation without Bridges: “I got the job of my dreams thanks to Bridges; I was going downhill and Bridges caught me”.

Women Friends
“I realized I never felt loved until I met Charlene (my counsellor) and Wendy (my group facilitator),” says Sarah. “I’ve had lots of counselling in life, but it has never been loving. Bridges is full of love.”

Sarah shared that learning that she had trauma was very validating and helped her understand why she kept repeating patterns in her life. She also feels she can now communicate and validate feelings, which has been very healing.

“I learned how to believe in myself,” she explains. Sarah says she learned she doesn’t need someone to have her dreams realized and that she can trust in herself and that the universe will guide her towards her path.

When asked what she would like to share with women considering starting a program at Bridges for Women, Sarah says, “Never give up trying to feel better, never give up on yourself.”

Sarah is committed to helping other women heal. She widely recommends the Bridges to Employment program, and she has also written a self-help book called “Wear Your Socks Inside Out.” Her book discusses a higher power that has helped her transform her life and help her break out of the relapse and rehab spiral.Women Friends

Sarah is scheduled to be the featured speaker at Bridges for Women’s International Women’s Day Celebration, taking place on March 8th at 12 on Zoom. Tickets are by donation. Other speakers include Aman Grewal, President of the BC Nurses Union, Winona Waldron, President of the Greater Victoria Teachers Association and Niki Sharma, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits.

Victoria Foundation has been a longtime supporter of Bridges for Women. We are very grateful for all the support we receive from our community so we can continue providing these programs and services for women in need.


Bridges for Women has been providing life-changing services for over 30 years. We inspire women and non-binary people impacted by trauma and abuse to reclaim their lives and build financial security through our healing, education and employment programs. We offer a variety of programs designed to meet the needs of each individual person. The Bridges Employment Program (BEP) is a group-based program where participants explore a range of personal and professional development topics. We also offer counselling services to support program participants. We are grateful for the support of the Victoria Foundation and its donors for making these adaptive and impactful programs possible.