BHN Help Team
To provide information, buddying and advocacy support to destitute asylum seekers in Bristol through the BHN 'Help Team', in order to help them move forward with their asylum claim, so they are able to move on to settled status and play their full role in the life of their community.
It's an ongoing project
Charity information: Bristol Hospitality Network
‘BHN Members’ are people that are destitute asylum seekers, who are among the most marginalised in our city. They are not allowed to work or receive any public funding, and so would be homeless or unable to provide for themselves were it not for the temporary housing we provide. However, the ultimate solution is to complete the claim for asylum, which can be very challenging as most BHN members suffer from the effects of PTSD and depression or live with the debilitating consequences of trauma.
We address the marginalisation of destitute asylum seekers by offering welcoming and safe places to stay at an extremely vulnerable time, which then allows us to work alongside them to find a way to help them progress their immigration status. This often involves supporting them to gather the evidence required to submit a fresh claim for asylum. The Help Team provides advocacy support & buddying to enable people to make asylum legal submissions or apply to gain eligiblity for housing.
Enable people to make legal submissions or a fresh claim for asylum
Activities» Provide advocacy support to at least 60 different people through our weekly 4 hour drop-in session, which is run by volunteers & a part time employee
We keep records of the submissions that people have made with our support. Where possible we also track the outcome of this for the person.
Enable people to gain eligibility for housing
Activities» Provide information about housing that people may be eligible for and help them to apply for this.
We keep records of how many people gain eligibility for housing and are able to move on from being supported in BHN accomodation.
Provide 4 volunteer placements, which include specialist training
Activities» Supervision and training from our Help Team Manager.
We can demonstrate how many people have volunteered with the project and ask them what skills they have gained as a result.
Making a successful claim for asylum means the world for the people we support - it allows them to begin a new life. They are then able to work and study in the UK and make their contribution to society. We attempt to track the eventual outcome for the people that we support, although we do lose contact with some people, so it isn't always possible.
The demand for the project is high and there is a risk of 'burn-out' for our volunteers. We have attempted to deal with this by providing good management and support by the team leader and our volunteer co-ordinator.
We produce a regular newsletter for supporters to keep them in touch with all of the developments in the organisation as well as an annual report which will contain details of the project and the outcomes that have been achieved.
Budget - Project Cost: £13,730Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £1,040 Volunteer Expenses Travel and lunch expenses for volunteers £720 Room Hire A room used for the consultations at our weekly drop-in session £360 Phone, postage etc. Phone, postage & stationary costs for the team £500 Training & accreditation Training costs £11,110 Team manager salary Part time salary for the Help Team manager
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount St Stephens & St James Trust £5,000 Guaranteed
The project is based in Easton, Bristol at our weekly Welcome Centre drop-in session. We also provide ad-hoc advice and support throughout the week.
Destitute asylum seekers in Bristol who are homeless or unable to provide for themselves, as they are unable to work in the UK or qualify for any benefits.
People who volunteer with the project
We are the only organisation in Bristol that specifically works with destitute asylum seekers and offers accommodation and advocacy specifically for them.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Penny is the manager of the Help Team
BHN is like an umbrella providing shelter to us and like a family to us.