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 selecting a project below or download the latest impact report.
Connecting & Inspiring
Growing our understanding and empathy for one another, reducing fear and intolerance and influencing action in Bristol.
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.
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.
Welcoming & Enabling
Providing a hospitable city that connects refugees and asylum seekers into local communities, improving confidence and wellbeing, and enabling people to use their skills.
b.friend provides one-to-one support for some of the most isolated and vulnerable members of the refugee and asylum-seeking community in Bristol. We receive referrals from partners agencies, and our trained volunteers then meet regularly with their partner to provide friendship, support and connection with the local community.
“During our meetings, we did not set big goals. The most important thing we did was communication. We went to a museum or interesting places in the city. But most importantly, we talked a lot. (She) helped me open a bank account or make an appointment, a lot of help with various household issues.
It is difficult to choose the best moment, as I was always glad of every meeting. (She) is always incredibly supportive and motivating. Communication with (my befriender) helps
me to better understand British society. Helps me not to feel lonely. Thank you so much for your very important work for me in integrating me into British society.”
In 2022 we partnered with Bristol City Council’s resettlement team to help welcome 38 families into houses in Bristol, and 53 families into temporary accommodation in the city. We also continue to provide support for families who arrived the previous year from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Sudan.
Bristol Welcome Events
Our programme of Bristol Welcome Events helps refugees and asylum seekers connect with others, have some fun, and find some respite from the challenges of daily life.
Stitching Together is the new name for our sewing project formerly known as Craft Collective. It 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.
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.
Resourcing & Equipping
Helping people to understand other cultures and traditions, and to feel more hopeful and confident so they can take action to build more welcoming communities.
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. RefuLingua also challenges the possible stereotype of refugees being only recipients, creating space in which they can demonstrate and share their skills with others.
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. This year;
- 24 people have attended our ‘Welcome to the UK’ training
- 130 people from host communities have attended our ‘Welcoming Refugees’ sessions
- 70 people attended our Cultural Awareness sessions
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.