A project helping refugees and asylum seekers which won Lottery funding last year has won praise from the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire.
Deborah Inskip visited the Bedfordshire Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support (BRASS), based in Tavistock Street, to see their achievements first hand.
She said: “I was very impressed by the obvious care and commitment offered by a very dedicated project co-ordinator and volunteers. This is a place where care and compassion greet the refugees and asylum seekers who walk through the door.
“There is a real sense of purpose to inform and support this group of people who certainly need all the help they can get.”
BRASS is now 12 months into a three-year grant from the Big Lottery Fund which pays towards the costs of the project co-ordinator, Brian Cunningham.
He said: “We are a small charity and funding is making a big difference to the lives of those who are isolated, seek safety and want to contribute to our community.
“This award means we can continue to develop and provide high quality services to those who need it most.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to trustees, staff, volunteers and our fundraiser, all of whom worked so hard to make the Lottery application such a success.
“We are also grateful for ongoing funding from the Harpur Trust and Lloyds TSB.”
Bedfordshire has a long history of welcoming new arrivals, many of whom have settled in the county permanently.
Bedfordshire Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support (BRASS) help refugees, many of whom are fleeing persecution in their own countries, to integrate and settle in Bedford and the surrounding area. Services include providing advice, befriending, English language classes, social inclusion activities and awareness raising.
If you are interested or would like to know more about the work of BRASS, contact Brian on 01234 211381 or visit www.brassbedford.org.uk