Bridges for Communities connects people of different cultures and faiths, enabling them to build friendships and grow in their understanding of one another. Through these connections and experiences, we seek to inspire and equip people to build a more cohesive society where people are better neighbours, newcomers feel more welcome and cities are more inclusive.
Sharing a meal together gives people from different cultures and faiths the opportunity to meet and build friendships.
We bring people together around religious festivals and feasts — like Ramadan and Christmas — to break down barriers and challenge stereotypes.
This project provides one-to-one support for refugees and asylum-seekers in Bristol, who may be isolated or struggling.
We organise special events and days out for refugees and asylum seekers, giving them a break from the challenges of daily life.
We organise trips to connect people in the UK and the Middle East, facilitating opportunities for perceptions to be changed and for friendships to be built.
We provide cultural awareness training for working crossculturally, and refugee support training for groups working with refugees, asylum-seekers, and vulnerable migrants.
We enable refugees to take a step towards employment by tutoring people in conversational Arabic.
Dan is the co-founder and Director of Bridges. He leads Bridges’ cultural exchange programs between the UK and the Middle East, as well as coordinating local initiatives and training in Bristol.
Sam is the Project Manager of b.friend, providing one-to-one support for asylum seekers and refugees through our amazing volunteers.
Originally from Yemen, Bushra is our Refugee Engagement Worker and is responsible for organising our programme of social events for refugees and asylum seekers.
Karen runs the Middle East b.friend programme, training volunteers to support refugees who have recently arrived in Bristol through the Resettlement scheme.
Katie is our volunteer fundraiser, helping us to research and apply for grants that help us to develop and grow.
Sarah and Mark are the Bridges representatives for Cardiff, Wales. They are also the visionaries behind Peace Feast!
Rose is our RefuLingua Project Manager and Office Administrator. She coordinates the Arabic tutoring programme and keeps us running smoothly.
Filsan is our Craft Collective Coordinator, bringing refugee women together to be creative and build a sense of community.
Dan is our Peace Feast Project Manager, leading efforts to gather people around shared meals and build friendship in the process.
Katie is our RefuLingua Project Manager (maternity cover), coordinating conversational Arabic classes for Bristolians.
Wala is our RefuLingua Project Assistant (maternity cover), helping to develop teaching materials and liaising with our tutors.
Jenny is our Office Administrator (maternity cover), doing lots of important jobs behind the scenes to keep us running smoothly.
We live in an incredibly interconnected world, but one that is also fractured and divided. Violence and fear between people of different faiths, cultures and nationalities seems to be constantly in the news, and at times it can be difficult to find positive stories of diverse people getting along well. Britain today is a diverse country too, with communities from many different cultures and faiths living side by side with one another, but at times having little meaningful interaction. There is a profound lack of understanding and trust, and this has lead to a marked increase in hate crime motivated by religion and ethnicity in recent years. The need to foster better understanding between people of different cultures and faiths has perhaps never felt more pertinent.
Our strategy is simple – we seek to give people who would not ordinarily meet the chance to do so, and we promote friendship and understanding between them. Much of the fear and prejudice that exists in our world does so because of ignorance, misperceptions, and lack of connection. Bridges for Communities wants to address these at the grass-roots level; creating spaces for positive interaction between people, and sharing positive stories wherever possible. We also seek to support some of the most marginalised in society, namely asylum seekers and refugees, and we provide training for people who want to build bridges in their local communities.