Our Impact

We are creating kinder, fairer and more welcoming communities where people of different cultures, races and faiths live well together.

We do this by facilitating connection and relationship between people of different backgrounds in Bristol, by welcoming those who have fled war and persecution and enabling them to use their skills here, and by sharing our knowledge and resources with others who share our vision and values. 

Read a summary of our impact by browsing through our projects below or download the latest impact report.

Connecting & Inspiring

By connecting people and building understanding, we can break down the stereotypes that create barriers between us. As those barriers disappear, we begin to recognise the intrinsic value in others, celebrate the richness in diversity and look to build common ground in our similarities, while not ignoring our differences.

Peace Feast

Our Peace Feast events are at the heart of what we do at Bridges, giving people from different backgrounds the opportunity to meet and build friendships over a meal. The events help to increase people’s awareness of the diverse communities in the city, their understanding of other cultures and faiths, and their sense of connection.

This year we were able to hold Peace Feasts in several new areas of the city, including Hartcliffe and St Pauls, and celebrate the Afghan Eritrean and Sudanese communities in the city. This enabled us to forge new partnerships and gain new insights into the needs of people across the city, as well as stand in solidarity with people who are directly impacted by some of the conflicts happening around the world. In total we ran 7 events with 486 attending and supported a number of other similar events around the UK.

Events like these are essential in cultivating tolerance, understanding and respect within our diverse society… thank you.

School Linking

Bristol School Linking is building relationships between children across our city. School linking twins year 5 classes from Bristol’s different communities. It encourages a sense of togetherness, challenges prejudice and stereotypes and contributes to a more cohesive city.

Last academic year, 30 classes across 15 schools completed the Bristol School Linking programmes (approximately 900 students). It was a great year filled with a variety of experiences for each link, as they explored identity with one another in create ways. This academic year we have 14 schools signed up so far ranging from BS3 to BA3, three of which are new, equating to 22 classes and approximately 660 year 5 students.

My class and I thoroughly enjoyed the trip to the Arnolfini. It was fantastic to have an opportunity to meet our partner class and walk around the exhibits. I thought the day was very well organised and the children enjoyed all of the activities, especially the drawing ones. Lots of the children in my class were so excited to meet children from a different school and learn about their lives. Overall, it was a fantastic experience!

Listening Spaces

Our new Listening Spaces Projects was launched in September. Listening Spaces are events and activities that facilitate intentional listening and dialogue between people of different views, beliefs of experiences of life. It is born out of the conviction that there are not enough ways for people who hold opposing views to meaningfully engage and to encounter one another as people.

As one of it’s areas of focus, Listening Spaces will also facilitate connection and dialogue between people of different faiths. Recognising that religious differences can create barriers for some, we will be hosting interfaith events where people can come together to share and learn from each other, challenge their assumptions, and explore more about their own faith in the process. As a first attempt at doing so, we recently took part in Inter Faith week, and asked seven people from different faith backgrounds to share a little bit of their story with us.

Welcoming & Enabling

A community that is more connected and understanding of each other, is likely to be more welcoming and empathetic of people with refugee status and those seeking sanctuary. This community chooses to recognise the intrinsic value in others, seeking to improve the wellbeing of others and help people feel a sense of belonging.


Befriend provides one-to-one support for some of the most isolated and vulnerable members of the refugees and asylum-seeking community in Bristol, with volunteers giving friendship, support and connection.

(She’s) added something so positive in my life that I couldn’t imagine before. I sometimes think if I didn’t meet Befriend and Rachel my life would have gone very differently – Wouldn’t have made it without your help.

Befriend has again seen increased numbers of people needing support this year, reflecting the increased need for people to seek safety in this country as well as a growing recognition among referral agencies of the benefits a befriending partnerships can have.

We have worked with 71 people from 32 countries and have volunteers from across the wider Bristol area forming 41 partnerships.

Resettlement Support

Throughout this year we have continued to work with families who have been resettled in Bristol, partnering with Bristol City Council’s resettlement team to help them adjust to life in the UK and get connected in their local communities.

For the families who have moved from temporary accommodation into more permanent accommodation, we have partnered them with a volunteer befriender who will visit once a week for up to 12 months. It’s been lovely to see that many friendships have continued beyond that on an informal basis. We have helped to form 31 befriending partnerships this year, while matching local volunteers to support on 149 tasks necessary for resettlement in Bristol.

My befriender and I have spent a good time the whole year. She was very helpful, she helped me to learn English and took me so many times out to show me how to find places. She was amazing, she always can visit my house anytime.

Y from Afghanistan

Bristol Welcome Events

Our programme of welcome events helps refugees and asylum seekers connect with others, have some fun, and find some respite from the challenges of daily life.

Over the past year Bristol has continued to welcome Afghan families, as well as a number of families from other countries such as Sudan, Iraq and Syria. It has been a joy to be able to provide 16 different activities with a combined 998 people attending.

We did not expect that you are going to invite us to welcome our family in Bristol. It is a nice initiative we appreciate, especially my wife who is lonely here.

M from Afghanistan

Walk With Me

Walk With Me gives refugees and asylum seekers the opportunity to meet local people, walk in green spaces, practise their English, and enjoy some exercise together at the same time.

This year we have taken over 800 participants seeking sanctuary for a walk in and around Bristol to explore new places such as parks, woodlands, beaches, lakes and forests. Bristol residents joined each of the 21 walks to engage with participants and give them the opportunity to meet local people and practise their spoken English.

The combination of opportunities to talk whilst walking, having some refreshments and engaging in sightseeing activities really helped prompt varied conversations and maintain engagement. It was a really positive experience to speak on an informal basis with people from other countries and learn about their culture and experience of life in the UK.

N, Volunteer

Stitching Together

Stitching Together provides welcoming spaces for refugee and asylum seeking women in Bristol to be creative and make beautiful and useful textile based art, clothes, and homewares, while gaining confidence and making friends.

We have run three terms of regular dressmaking classes with 48 women taking part through the year. We increased our hand sewing classes from one to two classes a week, creating space for 70 women in these classes. In the final term of the year, we added a couple of new classes with a focus on Hong Kong and Ukrainian refugee families in partnership with Mind and Borderlands.

The sewing class helped to release our stress and find ourselves on the course.

Resourcing & Equipping

We are excited to be able to offer input, guidance and advice to equip individuals and organisations nationwide to connect and welcome people where they live. Whether through virtual language classes, cultural training, or guiding others to run a Peace Feast, we are able to encourage communities throughout the UK to become kinder, fairer and more welcoming.


RefuLingua is a grassroots language project that organises language and culture classes taught by people of refugee and migrant background. Tutors are able to develop new skills, meet new people, and gain work experience through teaching their native language.

We’ve had an exciting year of new projects and opportunities, while continuing to offer our usual language and culture classes. 14 tutors have delivered 280 hours of teaching to 98 students in 7 languages and dialects. We’ve also worked alongside Arnolfini to provide multilingual exhibition tours led by our tutors in Arabic, Pashto and Dari.

It was a wonderful opportunity for me to teach the Arabic language, and through this course, I developed my skills a lot and got to know new people, and this makes me very happy.

Ibrahim, Syrian Arabic Tutor

Cultural Awareness Training

We offer a range of training courses that develop cultural awareness and equip people and organisations to be more welcoming and more effective in relating to today’s interconnected world.

  • 70 people from host communities have attended our ‘Welcoming Refugees’ sessions.
  • 30 people attended our Cultural Awareness sessions.

Thank You

We would like to say a huge thank you to all of our volunteers who have given their time and energy to support people and help make Bristol a more welcoming and inclusive city.

We’d also like to say a sincere thanks to all of the individuals who generously support our work – none of this could happen without you!

And finally, we’d like to thank the many organisations who have supported our work this year with strategic, financial or in-kind contributions.

Download to read the full impact report.