Bristol Refugee Rights

Bristol Refugee Rights addresses the practical, psychological and human rights needs of refugees and asylum seekers. In 2014 the charity was looking for funding to support its drop in centre for asylum seekers and refugees.

A grant was sought from Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, a responsive independent funder which specialises in supporting charities that help individuals facing multiple disadvantage. Through their Invest programme, charities are able to apply for core or delivery funding of up to £25,000 per year for two or three years, with the opportunity for continuation funding up to a total of six years. It’s a competitive grants process that requires a full application form but in meeting a regional Grant Manager before making a full application, charities are able to establish if the grant programme is right for them.

The charity was awarded £75,000 over three years to contribute towards the salary of a Manager and the core running costs for the drop in centre where individuals can receive advice on matters such as housing and finance and support with mental health, which is often affected by the experience of seeking asylum.

One year into the grant, the charity has been able to sustain its services, increase provision and has exceeded a number of its objectives. Where objectives have been harder to meet, the charity is taking on board learnings from the first year and adapting its activities as necessary. It is this flexibility offered by a grant which has allowed the charity to adapt to change to better meet needs.

Management of the grant has included a monitoring visit from the grant manager with whom the charity already has a relationship. The contact between the charity and the grant manager is really important in ensuring an open and trust worthy relationship is developed. Through the Foundation’s funder-plus Enhance support, further consultancy support has also been agreed to help build the charity’s capacity and ability to help more people going forward. It is this wrap-around package of support that is so important to help the charity long term.