Walk With Me’ offers one-to-one walking partners for refugees and asylum seekers in Bristol. The aim of the project is to promote regular exercise which will benefit physical and mental health, and provide an opportunity to practise spoken English, to meet someone new, and to explore the neighbourhood or new places. Wesport have been supporting Bridges for Communities a partner accessing TIF support to develop and deliver their walking partnerships.
Referrals are matched to a local volunteer who will offer a weekly walk in the location suited to the refugee / asylum seeker. The pace and length of walk are agreed by each partnership, and where possible same genders will be matched. Volunteers receive training around basic health and safety involved in planning and carrying out a walk, culture, supporting English learning and safeguarding. Support is offered to both the volunteer and the refugee / asylum seeker to set up the first walk, ensuring both parties know and agree to the expectations. They are then expected to arrange future walks themselves, with a guide of one walk per week to aim for.
Through TIF Bridges have supported:
- In 2020 - 15 walking partnerships = 15 volunteers plus 15 refugees or asylum seekers and 85 attendances at group walks.
- In 2021 - 15 walking partnerships so far = 15 volunteers plus 15 refugees or asylum seekers.
I have enjoyed the walks I have done with O. He is a really interesting man, and I have enjoyed getting to know him, I get a lot out of our time together even though I am the volunteer! I would like to continue to meet up with him.” David
The walking with Alex is good for me because I came at the beginning of the first lockdown so I could not make friends. I like to walk with her to improve my English.” L
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to get out of the house after 6 months at home caring for my husband because of his health. It’s been a really nice time.” G
It’s nice to meet new people. We were feeling lonely, and it’s been nice to find people who were thinking about us.” E
I am enjoying the walks – it’s good for my body and brain. Caitlin has become a good friend. I have enjoyed face to face conversation, learning expressions and new words – it has been a good opportunity to practice English. I enjoy knowing that someone is coming to support me and to share my daily life.”
For more information on other projects supported by Wesport please visit