The b.friend project provides support for asylum seekers and refugees through befriending and mentoring.
Based in Bristol, b.friend was started by Sam Sayer to help to address the loneliness and isolation that many refugees and asylum seekers experience.They have often been separated from friends and family, have lost their sense of belonging to a community and are faced with a lot of uncertainties about their future.
Befriending is listening, drinking tea, laughing, being compassionate, hearing difficult stories, showing empathy, visiting a museum or art gallery, being committed, going for a walk together, learning from another culture...and it can have a profound impact on both the volunteer and the person they meet with.
Sam is passionate about helping refugees and asylum seekers to find a place of belonging again where they can build friendships and contribute their skills and expertise. Learning how to navigate the way into a new culture is a key part of this process and the befriending model brings benefits to both parties - allowing refugees and asylum seekers to share aspects of their culture with the wider community too.