Refugee & Asylum Support

Bristol is home to many refugees and asylum seekers. They have been forced from their homes, traumatised on their journeys, and are then treated as criminals. We are commanded to welcome the stranger, but rarely manage this.

The challenge

Refugees and asylum seekers face many areas of challenge, including:

  • Legal issues - asylum seekers find themselves caught up in a legal system they do not understand; applications for asylum require significant legal input, as do appeals against Home Office decisions.

  • Practical issues -such as housing, transport and language learning.

  • Trauma -almost everyone who turns up as an asylum seeker will be traumatised to some extent.

  • Social needs - asylum seekers, like all people, need a range of human contact: if possible, contact with people from their own culture and language provides a degree of stability and rootedness; contact with other asylum seekers provides shared experience and support; and contact with people from the wider community helps with integration and building a new life.

The response

  • Borderlands is a charity working with asylum seekers and refugees tackling destitution and isolation, supporting disadvantaged and exclude people to help them improve their lives and situation.

  • Bristol City of Sanctuary is part of the national City of Sanctuary network, linking people and groups who believe that sanctuary seekers should be welcomed, and that their contribution to society should be celebrated.

  • Bristol Hospitality Network provides full board accommodation in for men in Bristol and offers community volunteering opportunities and cottage enterprise to male and female asylum seekers experiencing destitution

  • Bristol Refugee Rights supports asylum seekers and refugees to play fuller parts in their community whilst also campaigning for their human rights


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