Information about the resettlement of refugees in Bristol.

Bristol Resettlement Team

The Bristol Refugee Resettlement Team (previously called the Syrian Resettlement Team) was established in January 2016.

The team provides support to refugee families assessed by the United Nations as particularly vulnerable and therefore eligible for formal resettlement.  

Families have allocated Support Workers who help them to readjust, orientate and understand UK systems and services alongside practical support with day-to-day living, and work towards independence by the end of the support period. 

Supported families live in private sector housing provided by landlords working in partnership with the team.  

Responding to the crisis in Ukraine

We're responsible for supporting Ukrainian guests arriving on the homes for Ukraine Scheme.

We're expecting about 700 people to arrive in Bristol from Ukraine.

As of 4 August 2022:

  • 498 guests have arrived 
  • we've visited more than 400 guests, including 120 children

If you have a guest who's arrived, let us know so we can organise a visit by emailing homesforukraine@bristol.gov.uk

If you need help with organising school places, email attendanceandbelongingteam@bristol.gov.uk

Find out how we can support you if you have space in your home, or a property you’d like to make available, on our homes for Ukraine page.

We're working with faith and community partners to develop Welcome Hubs throughout the city for friendship, English lessons and cross cultural understanding courses.

Aid Box Community are providing a free shop for preloved clothing and toys and they are also co-ordinating donations to Ukrainian refugees for school uniforms and other items.

You can donate on their website

Useful information for sponsors

Week one guidance for Ukrainians arriving in the UK on GOV.UK

Homes for Ukraine scheme: frequently asked questions on GOV.UK

Welcoming Ukrainian refugees: the Bristol situation and response from Christian Action Bristol

Useful information for Ukrainian Nationals

You can get free legal advice from Advice Ukraine or by using the Home Office adviser tool (select ‘Not fee charging' for free advice.) Please use caution when seeking and following legal advice. 

If you qualify for the family scheme, you can call the 24/7 free government helpline on +44 808 164 8810.

Anyone fleeing Ukraine who is outside of the UK and needs help can call the International Organization for Migration for advice in: 

  • Ukraine on 527 on mobile phones or 0800 505 501 on landlines
  • Poland on +48 22 490 20 44

Ukrainians outside of the UK can access UK visa application centres in Poland (Warsaw, Rzeszow), Moldova (Chisinau), Romania (Bucharest), and Hungary (Budapest).

If you’re in the UK and need a translation service, you can call the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain on 020 7229 8392. You may have to pay a fee.

How to help refugees resettling in Bristol

If you're a landlord or know of any landlords that would be willing to work in partnership with the council and rent their homes to refugee families, email the Bristol Refugee Resettlement Housing Team: refugee.resettlement.team@bristol.gov.uk

If you're making an offer of support for refugees, email bristolrefugeeteam@bristol.gov.uk. Please note that this inbox can get busy, and may not always get a direct reply. We're very grateful for all offers of support. All offers are noted and reviewed, and you will be contacted as and when your support is required.

To offer donations, contact AidBoxCommunity or see the AidBoxCommunity Facebook page. They can tell you which items they need.

To volunteer, visit Help refugees who have come to the UK on GOV.UK.

Donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine appeal. The Disaster emergency committee has combined 15 top UK aid charities to launch this appeal and every pound donated will be matched by the government up to £25 million. Donations will be used to provide food, water, and medication.

Schemes we work with

The resettlement of refugees is organised through different government funded schemes and overseen by the Home Office.

We work with the Home Office to resettle refugees in Bristol through the following schemes:

Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP)

In preparation for the withdrawal of UK troops in Afghanistan, the Home Office established the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP). ARAP offers the opportunity for resettlement to locally employed staff and their families who worked for the UK government in Afghanistan. 

Bristol has pledged to resettle 15 families per year under this scheme.

While Afghan families are awaiting resettlement in the UK with a local authority, the Home Office provides them with hotel accommodation. The Bristol Refugee Resettlement Team supports the Home Office with this.

Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS)

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) is a new scheme launched by the Home Office for those who have helped the UK efforts in Afghanistan and stood up for:

  • democracy
  • women's rights and freedom of speech
  • the rule of law, such as judges, women's rights activists and journalists
  • vulnerable people, such as women and girls at risk and minority groups at risk (including religious minorities and LGBTQ+ people)

UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS)

The Home Office established the UKRS to identify the most vulnerable refugees who have been assessed for resettlement by UNHCR.

These vulnerable refugees are nominated for resettlement in the UK mainly from the Middle East and North Africa, but also from refugee camps in other areas.

This scheme replaces the:

  • Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme 2016 to 2021, which resettled 20,000 people in the UK, 328 of whom were resettled in Bristol
  • Resettlement of Vulnerable Children Scheme 2017 to 2021, which resettled 3,000 people in the UK, 106 of whom were resettled in Bristol

Bristol has pledged to resettle 15 families as part of the new UKRS. This means the Refugee Resettlement Team need to work with 15 landlords to identify private sector accommodation to house these 15 refugee families.

Homes for Ukraine

The homes for Ukraine scheme was launched on 14 March 2022. It provides a route for Ukrainian nationals forced the flee the war in Ukraine to come to the UK. The scheme allows individuals to sponsor named people from Ukraine and help them to find accommodation. Ukrainian guests can live and work in the UK for up to 3 years and access benefits, healthcare, employment, and other support.