Strategy and Aims

Strategic Plan 2022-27

We are proud to publish our new Strategic Plan for the years 2022 – 2027. This is an ambitious piece of work focused on empowerment, lived experience leadership, advocacy and anti-racism, that we will use to drive Bristol Refugee Rights for the next five years.

Strategic Plan 2022-27

Our Vision

A society where refugees, asylum seekers and migrants are welcomed, feel safe, live free of poverty and are able to positively build their lives. A society where everyone’s rights and entitlements are respected.

Aims and Ways of Working

We work in partnership with others to combat poverty and destitution and to promote social and legal justice:

We will use an EARLY ACTION approach to working with asylum seekers, refugees and migrants; we will focus on preventing and de-escalating crises through the provision of good quality, early advice, support and information using methods which build resilience, support networks and well-being; as an organisation we will provide stability and strive for sustainability.

We empower people; promote inclusion and equality of opportunity through the breaking down of societal barriers:

We will EMPOWER asylum seekers, refugees and migrants by giving them information and confidence to access their rights and entitlements and to build their lives; asylum seekers, refugees and migrants will have opportunities to develop and share their talents; we will provide support for them to learn and develop personal and professional transferable skills through a range of opportunities both within and outside of the organisation.

We ensure the rights and entitlements of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants are respected:

We use ADVOCACY to challenge injustice for individuals, and for all asylum seekers, refugees and migrants; members will receive high quality and timely advice aimed at achieving their rights and entitlements and a fair outcome; we will lead and support campaigns for better treatment and for a fairer society; we will never accept the status quo.

Theory of Change Nov 2022

Our Daily Mission

Bristol Refugee Rights’ members are people currently in the UK asylum process, or who have recently been granted refugee status. We aim to deliver them a ‘user-led’ service that addresses the practical, psychological and human rights needs of refugees and asylum seekers.

  • welcoming people into a safe place;
  • empowering people to achieve an independent and productive life;
  • enabling social inclusion;
  • using information collected in the Welcome Centre to bringing public attention to the human rights aspects of asylum law.

The key values that underpin the work of Bristol Refugee Rights are:

  • Inclusion
  • Partnership
  • Commitment to provision of a quality service
  • Empowerment and accountability

We work to sustain these values both in the Welcome Centre, and in our human rights campaigning.

Commitment to Lived Experience

We are committed to increasing lived experience engagement, participation and leadership within Bristol Refugee Rights.  We strongly believe organisations for people seeking asylum should be run with people with lived experience of seeking asylum.

Our CEO recently worked with a group of sector leaders who came together in 2022 through Clore Social Leadership around a common goal of achieving more and better Lived Experience Leadership in our organisations and across the refugee and migrant sector.  They do not profess to have particular expertise in this subject.  Some of the group had lived experience of migration; some of them did not.  They all have many years’ experience of working in the sector.  They are all committed to anti-racism, to social justice and enabling and amplifying Lived Experience Leadership where that is what people want.  They learnt a lot and wanted to share what they learnt in the hope it will help others who are on the same journey as us.   We are sharing:

– A Leaflet for service users for organisations to use to promote lived experience involvement and leadership, titled ‘Use Your Experience to Get Involved’. This explains what is meant by lived experience leadership, and highlights the benefits to the individual and the organisation. It also gives examples of how people can participate, as well as how to keep safe while getting involved. These can be edited for use in your organisations.

– A TOOLKIT FOR SMALL REFUGEE AND MIGRANT ORGANISATIONS – this explains what is meant by lived experience leadership, general principles of good practice, and examples of ways that people can lead from within organisations. It also contains links to other existing resources and approaches.

Early Action Charter

Too often people seeking safety in the UK are forced into poverty and crisis. Cuts to legal aid mean it is often impossible to access the vital representation and advice needed to navigate our complex asylum system. Organisations that provide help to people seeking asylum have become predominately crisis driven, helping people who have already fallen into poverty and destitution.

The Early Action Charter for People Seeking Asylum Programme is an attempt to help more than 3,000 people seeking asylum to better understand the system, and thus prevent them hitting the crisis point. The programme is a three-year partnership between eight frontline organisations including Bristol Refugee Rights.

You can find out more here and here.


Our Business Plan, which sets out how we hope to achieve, our Mission Statement and Goals, can be found here.

BRR’s Simplified Constitution can be read here: Simplified constitution Oct 2022

Other important documents can be found on the Policies and Procedures page.

The Annual Reports and Accounts can be found here.