Project information

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

Bristol Hospitality Network logo
  • Need


    ‘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.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Enable people to make legal submissions or a fresh claim for asylum to help them exit destitution


    » Provide advocacy support to at least 60 different people through our 2 weekly drop-in sessions, which are run by volunteers & a part time employee

    What success will look like

    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.

    Aim 2

    Enable people to gain eligibility for housing


    » Provide information about housing that people may be eligible for and help them to apply for this

    What success will look like

    We keep records of how many people gain eligibility for housing and are able to move on from being supported in BHN accomodation.

    Aim 3

    Provide 4 volunteer placements, which include specialist training


    » Supervision and training from our Help Team Manager.

    What success will look like

    We can demonstrate how many people have volunteered with the project and ask them what skills they have gained as a result.

  • Impact


    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 have also ensured that all volunteers and staff in these roles are able to access trauma counselling for vicarious trauma from a local service, paid for by this project.


    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

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £1,000 Volunteer Expenses Travel and lunch expenses for volunteers
      £1,000 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
      £640 Training & accreditation Training costs
      £16,000 Team manager salary Part time salary for the Help Team manager
      £1,000 Manager Supervision for the Help team Manager

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    St Stephens & St James Trust £5,000 Conditional
  • Background


    The project is based in Easton, Bristol at our weekly Welcome Centre drop-in sessions on Mondays and Fridays. 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

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are the only organisation in Bristol that focuses its work on destitute asylum seekers and offers accommodation and advocacy specifically for them.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Penny Gray

    Manager of the BHN Help Team

BHN is like an umbrella providing shelter to us and like a family to us.

A Member of BHN