The resettlement of refugees in Bristol

The resettlement of refugees in Bristol

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

Bristol City Council is responsible for wrap around support for Ukrainian guests arriving on the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

As of 7 May 2022:

  • 547 Ukrainian guests have applied through the Homes for Ukraine scheme to come to Bristol, 195 of them are 18 years and under
  • 173 people have arrived
  • the resettlement team have visited 150 Ukrainian guests

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

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

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

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

This bespoke scheme will offer a route to those who want to come to the UK who have someone here willing to provide them with a home.

It will enable individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to volunteer accommodation and provide a route to safety for those forced to escape their homeland.

Information and advice for Ukrainian Nationals

  • Legal Advice: Advice Ukraine are offering free legal advice. Free legal advice can also be found using the Home Office adviser tool (select ‘Not fee charging’ for free advice.) Please use caution when seeking and following legal advice. 
  • Anyone that qualifies for the family scheme can call the 24/7 free government helpline on +44 808 164 8810. Anyone fleeing Ukraine, is outside of the UK, and in need of help can call the International Organization for migration for advice: 
    • Ukraine: 527 on mobile phones and 0800 505 501 on landlines.
    • Poland: +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)
    • Any Ukrainians in the UK and in need of translation services can contact the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain on 020 7229 8392. Their services come at a fee