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Help Needed for Ukrainian Refugee Welcome Desk

Voluntary Action North Somerset (VANS) is looking for volunteers to help Ukrainian refugees arriving at Bristol Airport and has set up a welcome point at the airport for refugees who are fleeing the war.

Volunteers will ‘provide a friendly welcome’ to refugees and give them basic information about where they can get help.  Volunteers will then take them to the welcome centre at the nearby Hilton Hotel where they can rest, enjoy some refreshments and pick up some essentials, like toiletries before their onward journey, some of which will be with a host family.


VANS are looking for volunteers who can sign up to four-hour long shifts throughout the day, although currently most flights arrive early in the morning and late at night.


The role of the volunteer is to provide a friendly welcome to refugees arriving from Ukraine and they need to be approachable and be able to use an iPad or tablet and Google Translate to overcome any language barriers.  Full training is provided and travel expenses are paid plus on-site free parking is provided.

Project Lead, Kirsty Staunton said: “We’ve seen a gradual increase in Ukrainian refugees arriving at Bristol Airport since we first set up the Welcome Point Information Desk - going from 30 - 40 a day to 80-100 a day currently.  Because flights are arriving early morning and late at night, we need volunteers at some very odd times, but our volunteers have been absolutely amazing.  Some, who are unable to host refugees, felt supporting families at the Welcome Point was a good way to help and seeing the joy on the refugees faces when they are greeted by their host families who are giving them hope beyond the trauma they have experienced in their own country, can be very emotional.” 

With increasing numbers of refugees arriving, we’re always happy to recruit more volunteers so if anyone is interested in helping they should go to: