Refugees and asylum seekers are faced with many challenges as they seek to rebuild their lives in the UK, and it can often feel impossible to find the time to simply relax, have fun, and connect with others who have been through similar experiences. Our programme of Refugee Social Events aims to ease this difficulty, giving refugees and asylum seekers the chance to take a break from the challenges of daily life and simply enjoy a fun day out.
This summer has been a particularly busy one for the programme, with events from beach trips and museum visits to BBQs and Peace Feasts happening throughout the past few months:
Day trip to Weston-Super-Mare
In April, we took 115 refugees and volunteers for a picnic on the (slightly chilly!) beach in Weston-Super-Mare. As well as being a great introduction to a typical British trip to the seaside, the group was kindly hosted for an afternoon tea by Clarence Park Baptist Church. Read our post about the day here.
Wild Adventures family project with Avon Wildlife Trust
Beginning in April and running through to October, we’ve teamed up with Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project and Bristol City Council to organise a series of trips to the Avon Gorge for five refugee families. The trips are a fantastic opportunity for the families to spend time together, getting out into nature and learning about British wildlife, and have been a real success so far.
Thornbury Peace Feast
In May, we took over 70 refugees and asylum seekers to the traditional English town of Thornbury. We spent an enjoyable afternoon exploring the town and playing a big game of football (dads versus their kids!) after being hosted for a 'Peace Feast' lunch at the wonderful Thornbury Baptist Church.
Eastville Park BBQ
Later in the month we organised a BBQ in sunny Eastville park, gathering together refugees and volunteers to share food, play games, and enjoy the glorious May sunshine.
Eid Party at The Station
In June, we had the privilege of facilitating a wonderful Eid celebration for refugees from Syria, which was attended by 175 people. The party - which included a talent show, delicious food, and art activities for the children - was an opportunity for refugee families to come together and celebrate this important event in the Islamic calendar, despite being far away from the family and loved ones this time would normally be spent with. Though we will never be able to replace what these families have lost due to the war, we hope that gathering with others who also celebrate Eid will be a small step towards helping to rebuild their lives and forming a sense of community here in Bristol.
Day trip to Ogmore Beach
At the beginning of July we enjoyed a wonderful day at Ogmore beach in Wales, with 141 refugees, asylum seekers and volunteers from Bristol making the trip to the beach. The weather was beautiful all day, giving us plenty of opportunity for swimming in the sea and enjoying a huge communal barbecue.
Craft Collective Day Trip to Bath
10 ladies from the Craft Collective (which meets every Saturday) spent a wonderful afternoon at the American Museum in Bath, kindly hosted by the museum. Of special interest was the extensive collection of patchwork quilts as the ladies have recently designed and partially created a quilt themselves - to be completed in the autumn! The group also enjoyed drinks on the terrace overlooking the beautiful gardens.
Thank you to all the individuals and organisations who have made all these events possible! We look forward to holding many more in the coming months and years.
A special thank you to Near Neighbours and Brisdoc whose grants made running these programmes possible. We are now seeking additional funding in order to continue running this programme of events. This includes a number of our team and volunteers raising money by running the Bristol Half Marathon - click here for more details.