A big clothes sale, a new roof, bivvy bags, and lots more ABC news!

Whenever donations arrive, we’re hugely grateful. And the last few weeks have topped up the gratitude banks, no end!

Here’s what’s been going on…..

Volunteers ahoy - we have lots of new volunteers from both the refugee community and the local community. The Hub is always a wonderfully welcoming and fun place to be. New volunteers are always welcome so come and say hello if you’re interested in getting involved.

The roof will soon be fixed - we’ve just received a cheque of £1500 from a very generous local person to pay for materials to fix the leaking roof. The work is being carried out for free by a very generous roofer who will also train up two refugee volunteers while they work. How fantastic is that?!

The fundraising continues - come and pick up some new togs at our fantastic fundraising clothes sale at the Hub this Friday, 19th June from 5pm-10pm. ABC will also receive funds in return for supplying eight stewards at Glastonbury Festival. Thanks and good luck to the ABC representatives! Imogen and a small team will also be running a stall at Glastonbury to raise awareness and support for the cause. Rock on! At the end of June, our corporate sponsor will be doing the three peaks as their last event for ABC. Huge thanks for their support over the last year.


Volunteers setting up for the big clothes sale.

Volunteers setting up for the big clothes sale.

Monthly donations - Kudacan, a new local independent baby and children’s play centre, has started sponsoring us with a small monthly amount, and we’ve recently doubled our monthly Direct Debit supporters. If you’d like to give monthly (any amount makes a difference), fill in this quick form and we’ll do the rest.

Almondsbury Primary School’s Refugee Awareness Day - we’ve had a huge donation of items from Almondsbury Primary School after they included a Refugee Awareness Day as part of a week-long initiative to get the children thinking about the world around them. The children spent all day learning about the refugee crisis and how it can affect children as well as adults. To collect the donations, it was also a non-uniform day and instead of a monetary donation, the children were asked to bring in an item to donate.

The school were expecting each child to bring in one small item, but they each brought in bags and bags! Items included blankets, sleeping bags, coats, shoes, jumpers, toiletries, food - a lot of it brand new.

From Katie Goode at the school: “The children are just so excited about being able to help in some small way and hoping they can make a difference, even just a small one! We've piled it all up in my classroom so they can see how much we've got. We’ve also sent two car loads to Brighter Bristol - the other charity we’re collecting for.”

Refugee month starts 19th June - we’ll be out and about running stalls at a couple of events throughout the month to raise awareness and support. Plans are coming together for an open day at the Hub too…

The Moorish kitchen - a self-contained fully mobile kitchen has been donated via the lovely Katie. It's absolutely wonderful and we are arranging for it to be used by the Bristol Hospitality Networks Movable Feast group who train refugees to run their own catering businesses. We will also use it for fundraising events. Thank you Katie!

The Free Shop - the ABC Free Shop and referral system is working really well and gaining momentum each day. Among the people who use the service are many rescued trafficked victims, which is both heartbreaking but also a wonderful thing to be part of helping them rebuild their lives.

Bivvy bags and sleeping bags - we recently put out a special call for money to buy inconspicuous bivvy bags and sleeping bags for refugees and asylum seekers who are sleeping on the streets. People gave over £1000 and the items have been ordered and are ready to distribute.

Bristol Big Give - ABC was donated 30 bags of clothes from this annual campaign, organised by the Bristol Student Community Partnership. Over 20 donation points located across the city and in student Halls of Residence makes it easy for students to donate their unwanted items as they move out for summer.

Red Cross training session - Elinor from the Red Cross held an informative and inspiring training session for volunteers at the Hub this month, focused on asylum and destitution in the UK and Bristol. Thank you Elinor!