Bristol Refugee and Asylum Seeker Partnership (BRASP)

Introduction

Bristol Refugee and Asylum Seeker Partnership is an innovative partnership of 15 Bristol-based organisations working in solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers.

Our vision

Our vision is that all refugees and asylum seekers should enjoy healthy and fulfilling lives in Bristol, that they should have a voice, and that their needs should be met by an effective, unified and sustainable sector.

Our values

Lived experience-led; empowerment; inclusion; solidarity

Our strategic priorities

  1. Strategic voice and influence – asylum seeker, refugee and migrant voices will be heard.
  2. Operational collaboration – working together to provide the best services.
  3. Infrastructure/governance – working together to more effectively achieve better outcomes.
  4. Funding – services will be sustainable, effective and efficient.

Partnership members

Aid Box Community, ACH, Borderlands, Bridges for Communities, Bristol City of Sanctuary, Bristol Hospitality Network, Bristol Refugee Festival, Bristol Refugee Rights, Bristol Reporting Solidarity, British Red Cross, The Haven, Project Mama, Refugee Council, Refugee Women of Bristol, and Trauma Foundation South West.

Where we have come from

BRASP was set up in 2019 in response to a desire for greater strategic leadership within the refugee and asylum seeker (RAS) support sector, and for greater voice in the city, particularly for people from refugee backgrounds themselves. We wanted to increase understanding and visibility of RAS work outside the sector and strengthen links with those working in other areas, such as housing and homelessness, disability, LGBT+ and business. We believed that working more collaboratively at a strategic level could give us and the community we serve greater political influence, maximise our capacity and increase opportunity to hold agencies to account in the city. Better collaboration in the RAS sector would also provide more coherent and less disjointed services, address gaps and avoid duplication. The pandemic, though fraught with difficulties, really kick-started this amazing collaboration as we united to ensure that the communities we serve continued to receive vital services, from food and destitution support, to advice, welfare calls and befriending.

Where we are heading next

The partnership is developing under a steering group made up of six member organisations, and is supported by Voscur. 

BRASP has now hired a team of four to move us towards our vision. 

The team will support BRASP this year to work towards our priority of getting the voices of people who are experts, by experience of the refugee journey, into places where decisions are made, both within the BRASP partnership organisations as well as within city-wide forums and the city council. This will ensure that provisions are informed by their expertise and the city can truly grow into the city of sanctuary we want it to be. We will continue our collaborative approach, ensuring that our services are coordinated to make the best use of our limited resources in the face of great need and continue to work in partnership with statutory providers to ensure no one falls through the gaps. We will also focus on building the structures and mechanisms which will allow us to simplify service users’ pathways to accessing services across the partnership, make it easier for external organisations and statutory bodies to engage with, refer into and fund the partnership. We will also enable ease of collaboration and resource and information sharing within the partnership – including through the provision of backfill funding to ensure that smaller organisations with more limited capacity are able to fully participate.

Funding

BRASP is currently supported by the following: Bristol City Council Impact Fund; National Lottery Community Fund; Quartet Community Foundation; Refugee Action Explore Adapt Renew.

As of yet we are not in a position to receive commissions or funding directly as a partnership, but this is certainly where we hope to be within the next year – funding can of course be received by a lead organisation for use in collaborative working.

Contact us

If you are interested in working with the partnership or wish to be kept up to date, please do get in touch via or online form

Or you can contact a member of the BRASP team: