“You are help me a lot because I do not have a lot of things for my children. You give me things for my home and something for woman. I need this help, my husband is very sick and he can not work. I feel shy because I come here a lot but I have a sister and a daughter and we need things for woman every month and we can not buy them. My daughter is 15 and her friends have nice clothes and shoes and now she can too. I can wash the clothes well with the washing powder you give me.” Sheren Alaadidy 34, Syrian Refuge

The ABC Free Shop is a place where vulnerable and in need asylum seekers, refugees can come to get clothes, shoes, household items, food and other essentials that will help them live more conformably as they settle in Bristol.

Why are we running a Free Shop?

Asylum seekers receive just £5 a day to live on. Asylum seekers who have been denied the right to remain receive nothing at all. Refugees who have been granted the right to remain in the UK are legally allowed to work, but once granted permission to stay, they have just 27 days to find somewhere to live, get a job or to sign on at the job centre to claim housing support. The system is complicated and involves travelling to various appointments, which is particularly difficult for  people who are in a new country, with a different culture, speaking a new language and with very little money for their daily needs.

Refugees and asylum are often vulnerable, most  have experienced great trauma in their country of origin and on their journey to the UK, lost family members, their home and loved ones. Settling in a new country, with a new culture, language and surroundings whlst suffering from PTSD, depression, isolation and other physical illness can be very lonely and leads many asylum seekers and refugees destitute.

The ABC Free Shop provides free basic items needed to make people's lives a little more comfortable. We also support other homeless people in Bristol by passing on good quality items that we can’t use.

We’re working in partnership with City of Sanctuary, Borderlands, Bristol Refugee Rights, Unseen, Befriend, the Red Cross and Brighter Bristol, The Haven, Brigstow as well as the Syrian Welcoming Committee who refer refugees and asylum seekers in need of our service.

How can you help?

Donate stuff - we need clean, good quality household items or food and other everyday supplies. Please check the list of what’s needed for info and drop-off times.

Volunteer - many hands make light work so come and help sort aid, keep the shop tidy and be a welcoming face to refugees and asylum seekers. Take a look at the volunteer page to find out when and how you can help.