A safe haven for refugee and asylum seeking children


This project was successfully funded on Tuesday the 20th of June, 2017

£34,443 was raised by 342 supporters — that's teamwork!

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We are the first port of call for the majority of asylum seeking and refugee families coming to the area.

Who we are

Bristol Refugee Rights is registered charity based in the inner city, offering a wide range of support and information to asylum seekers and refugees.  Last year we supported more than 850 different people.


The Challenge

All children need space and opportunities to play and socialise.  Evidence shows that playing is central to children’s physical, psychological and social well-being.  Children whose family have escaped from unimaginable horrors need good quality play more than most.  Parents' preoccupation with meeting daily needs of safety and survival distract from the developmental needs of the children.

Families waiting to hear if their claim for asylum will be granted are living in limbo.  Parents are not allowed to seek employment.  They live on a small allowance to cover all daily expenses.  Living conditions are very basic, often overcrowded with no space for children to safely play.  Families seeking asylum can be forced to move accommodation with little or no notice which makes accessing any regular childcare setting very difficult.  A decision about an asylum claim can take a few months to many years.



The Solution

We welcome children from four months to five years who would otherwise not have access to any sort of organised child care.  We offer them something they simply don't get anywhere else: a place to be children, a place they can play and learn for two hours each morning.  The environment is designed to be stimulating and has a range of toys and resources.  We see relationships flourish - with our team and then other children.  It's a great place for children to develop their English skills through songs, rhymes and stories.

The Early Years Project doesn't just benefit the children, their parents are able to go to an English class, get advocacy support, volunteer or just have a moment to themselves in our vibrant Welcome Centre main hall.  We offer a host of well being activities and information to support newly arrived asylum seekers and those who have leave to remain (refugee status).

The Early Years Project provides a vital source of support for parents, and a stepping stone into statutory services, which they often find it difficult to access.


Funded by BBC Children In Need for the past six years, the Early Years Project is in high demand and we get to know regularly attending children well.

"My little girl has been coming here since she was eight months; now she is two years old.  She is happy every time we come.  The children she meets at the Project she meets regularly.  They are her only friends.  When we go back to our room at the end of the day she teaches me new words in English she learnt at the Project."

"By coming to the Early Years project our children have better speech and language and are more able to integrate into nursery and school when the time comes."

The long term impact for the families using the Early Years Project and our other services cannot be underestimated.  Children develop emotionally strong bonds, language and social skills which they carry with them throughout their lives.  Mothers have the opportunity to particate in free drop in English classes. These classes give mothers independance and confidence and much, much more.  

On behalf of all of the families using Bristol Refugee Rights now, and the asylum seekers who will be dispersed to Bristol in the future, we want to say a huge "thank you!"


Amount needed: £20,475 

Note: all UK taxpayer donations are eligible for gift aid.


Pledge now!






pledged of £20,475 goal (GBP)

169% pledged



This project ended on 20 June 2017

This is a take what you raise project. At the end of the funding period the project owner receives all of the pledged funds.

This project was created by

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7 people want this

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 can pay for a nutritional morning snack for all of the children at the Early Years Project on one day.


35 people want this

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can pay for replenishable items such as paint, paper, glue, clay, and chalk that allow children to experience messy play, developing sensory awareness and dexterity. 


62 people want this

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can pay for a child to attend one session and be supported by highly trained and bi-lingual staff.


15 people want this

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can pay for spare clothes, sun hats, sun cream for the children and packs of nappies for babies.


1 person wants this

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can pay for nutritional morning snacks for all children attending the project for the entire year.


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can pay for the cost of one Early Years Project Worker for the year. Having enough adults to make each child's experiences unique, personal and secure is essential - if the staff are stretched the experience for the children just isn't the same!

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