Update from BHN by Lizzie Briggs, Director
Thanks to everyone for your support over these past four months. We couldn't have done any of it without you. Particular thanks go to our wonderful staff and volunteers, who have worked tirelessly in difficult circumstances to ensure our members feel supported and get their most pressing needs met.
The aim to expand our host network and meet the needs of more destitute asylum seekers is no easy task - especially post-lockdown from a pandemic! However, we feel hopeful that Bristolians will respond positively to this clear call for solidarity with asylum seekers, who literally have no where else to turn. I thank you in for considering this opportunity, passing it onto your networks and helping us provide accommodation and asylum claim support for many of the hidden population of our city who have come out of the woodwork due to this crisis.
Our services have continued online, with the introduction of ESOL 1:1 mentoring for some of our members wishing to improve their English. We are planning to hold a strategy meeting in September to discuss the future of BHN in light of loosened restrictions and also the risk of a second wave. This will include volunteers, staff, members and trustees. In the meantime, we are looking into starting a drop-in for Asylum claims and a Hosting triage in anticipation of an increase in members over the coming months. Finally, we hope to have some small gatherings for members where possible (e.g. organised walks), but this is proving difficult regarding staff resources, and so we will be relying on volunteers to help us with this.
As ever, we hope this newsletter finds you and your family in good health - from everyone here at BHN, we thank you for your support.