The b.friend project provides asylum seekers and refugees with one-to-one support. We match a volunteer with an asylum seeker or refugee for a period of up to one year, and equip them with the tools and support they need to meet regularly for companionship and support.
Befriending is listening, drinking tea, laughing, being compassionate, hearing difficult stories, showing empathy, visiting a museum or art gallery, being committed, going for a walk together, learning from another culture… and it can have a profound impact on both the volunteer and the person they meet with!
Are you creative, friendly & enthusiastic about sewing? You are invited to be part of the b.friend Craft Collective!
Join 8 asylum seeking women & fellow volunteers in central Bristol to help make beautiful things for the collective to sell! The collective meets on Saturday afternoons from 2pm to 4.30pm at Hamilton House on Stokes Croft - volunteers are expected to commit to a min. of 2 Saturdays per month.
For more information, or to register your interest in joining the b.friend craft collective, please contact us using the button belowContact Us
As well as our regular b.friend programme which supports refugees and asylum seekers of all nationalities, we specifically want to help provide a warm welcome to families who are fleeing the conflict in Syria. We are delighted to be able to offer support to Syrian families who have recently arrived in Bristol under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme (VPRS). We provide this support through volunteer befrienders who give up a little bit of their time each week to meet with someone who is new to the city. These volunteers provide a listening ear, support with learning English, and they help the new arrivals to become more familiar with the city. From March to October 2016, Bridges has worked with Bristol City Council to provide support for 8 families, and it is hoped that this number will continue to grow over the next few years. Bridges provides the volunteers with training and with ongoing support in order to fulfil this invaluable role, and Bridges has also been able to deliver Cultural Awareness training for the new families, helping them to get used to life in the UK. To volunteer as a befriender for Syrian families in Bristol, or to enquire about other ways in which you can contribute to this scheme, please use our Contact form.
Without b.friend, other service providers would have nowhere to refer some of the most isolated of our clients, whose isolation and exclusion would then be more likely to become entrenched.
Kate shows me everything I need in Bristol. She came along at the right time. I felt so lonely but now I don’t feel like that. Someone cares about me. She is like my sister and I don’t want to lose her.
The training was very lively and interesting. I learnt so much. It was great to meet with other people wanting to befriend and make a difference.
If you have an hour and a half to spare each week then befriending an asylum seeker or refugee could be for you. We run regular training for volunteers who wish to befriend.
For more information on becoming a befriender, contact us.
Sharing a meal together gives people from different cultures and faiths the opportunity to meet and build friendships.
We bring people together around religious festivals and feasts — like Ramadan and Christmas — to break down barriers and challenge stereotypes.
This project provides one-to-one support for refugees and asylum-seekers in Bristol, who may be isolated or struggling.
We organise special events and days out for refugees and asylum seekers, giving them a break from the challenges of daily life.
We organise trips to connect people in the UK and the Middle East, facilitating opportunities for perceptions to be changed and for friendships to be built.
We provide cultural awareness training for working crossculturally, and refugee support training for groups working with refugees, asylum-seekers, and vulnerable migrants.