Providing Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Bristol with one to one support.

We match a local volunteer with a Bristol-based asylum seeker or refugee, and they then meet weekly for a period of up to one year. We equip the volunteers with the tools and support they need in order to provide the companionship and encouragement that people need.

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. It can have a profound impact on both the volunteer and the person they meet with!

Without befriend, 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.

Elinor Harris, Area Manager, Refugee Action

Kevin & Yasser’s Story

Yassar came to Bristol from Syria through the UN Resettlement Programme. Kevin lives in Bristol and wanted to welcome people arriving from different countries. Befriending has helped Yasser to improve his English and confidence and has helped Kevin to learn about another culture and even get to know the city he lives in better.

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.

Maria, Eritrea


If you would like to welcome an asylum seeker or refugee isolated in Bristol and you have 1.5-2 hours a week spare, then sign up to volunteer today to make a positive difference in the lives of those new to Bristol.


To refer someone to befriend who needs support, please complete the online Referral Form

We work closely with Aid Box Connections, a 10-week programme for refugees and asylum seekers run by Aid Box Community, as well as Borderlands 6-month mentoring programme, in order to ensure that our programmes compliment one another and provide the best services possible for the people we work with.

Befriend is supported by: