Photo from Bristol247
The fact that 62% of people who voted in Bristol voted 'remain' is a great vote of confidence in Bristol as a diverse and forward-looking city. However, many people in Bristol voted out for a range of reasons, and as we know, the final result was for Britain to leave the European Union.

Whilst we acknowledge that there are polarisations in Bristol that magnify disadvantage and that this is a key challenge the city has to address, we also believe that Bristol is, on the whole, a tolerant city, and a welcoming city of sanctuary. Voscur celebrates being part of a city where over 90 different languages are spoken, over 45 different faiths are practiced and we have a population that is over 22% black and minority ethnic (BME). This percentage is higher among Bristol’s younger generation.

Voscur is proud of the achievements of organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers and those tackling hate crime and working on community cohesion. Many of these organisations rely on the valuable time of volunteers and donations from committed supporters across the city to enable them to deliver the quality services they provide.  These organisations contribute towards making Bristol a happier, safer and more tolerant place.

With the upheaval and ensuing impact of Brexit, it is important for us to stand together at this time. Voscur will continue to support the great work that is being achieved, offer channels of communication that represent the voices of those who feel left behind and act collectively to improve lives because - especially in these challenging times - we want everyone to benefit from a fair and equal city and feel proud of the city they are part of.

What are the implications for the Voluntary and Community Sector?

Voscur is involved in working groups with Mayor Marvin Rees and other leading Bristol organisations including representatives of business, the universities and others, to discuss the impact of Brexit and next steps.  

We would like to be able to take your feelings, concerns and views into that discussion so we have set up a quick poll on our website.  If you would like your views to feed into our discussion with the Mayor, please complete this short survey.

NCVO has issued a policy briefing that discusses the implications for the Voluntary and Community Sector.

What's Bristol been doing?

Stand Together Bristol campaign organised a rally on College Green at which the Mayor spoke.  The Mayor’s speech can be seen here.

Bristol MPs have each put out a statement, and are encouraging constituents to contact them with any questions. MPs website addresses are:

Bristol East: Kerry McCarthy
Bristol South: Karin Smyth
Bristol North: Charlotte Leslie
Bristol West: Thangham Debbonaire

Click here to view Business West’s statement.

Resources and further information

Brexit: The 5 things charities can do (NCVO blog). View this here.

What will Brexit mean for UK energy, resources and natural environment policy? View this here.

Commission calls for a full-scale review of the UK’s hate crime strategy. View this here.

An open Letter from Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Andy Marsh and PCC Sue Mountstevens. View this here.

Businesses and Brexit: KPMG Have published a range of resources to help to guide businesses through the changes that Brexit will bring. View this here.

Brexit and the role of foundations: first thoughts: reflections from David Emerson CBE, Chief Executive, Association of Charitable Foundations. View this here.

Charities needed now more than ever: NCVO's chief exec writes on the vital role charities can play in rebuilding trust and kinship in divided communities after the referendum vote. View this here.

Easing community tensions – practical advice for charities: Another piece from NCVO that you can view here.

What is the future for the cultural sector in the wake of Brexit? An interesting blog from Arnolfini Arts. View it here.

We will continue to add to this section as more information becomes available.