D.I.G (Diversity in Gardens)

DIG is led by three partner organisations dedicated to the project's vision: The Apricot Centre is a biodynamic, organic farm and wellbeing service, Radical Ecology works across art, research, and policy for environmental transformation, and Devon and Cornwall Refugee Support is a charity supporting asylum seekers and refugees across South West England.

DIG emerged from the success of Communities of the Soil (CoS), a collaborative project focused on increasing access to nature in Plymouth and Paignton. Building on CoS's foundation, DIG seeks to create welcoming spaces for growing food, boosting wellbeing, and fostering a sense of belonging.

DIG's pilot programme, running from February to June 2024, invites communities including refugees, asylum seekers, young people, BAME communities, and other marginalised groups, to experience local green spaces throughout the seasons. The programme not only focuses on growing, harvesting, and eating together and developing hands-on experience in local green spaces, but also celebrates cultural stories around food.

For a professional landscaper from Gaza, this project means he can engage with a craft that he loves and pass on his knowledge through skill sharing. A cook from Jamaica shares his passion for Ital - a plant-based diet - preparing dishes for the group using local ingredients. A participant from Georgia has been working with the project continuously for over a year – despite being moved throughout Devon. This consistency has helped him build a community and become familiar with the Devon landscape.

DIG's vision centres on skill development, providing access to gardening and craft skills, along with regenerative land-based systems education leading to certified qualifications. DIG aims to support wellbeing, employability, and sector development levels. The project emphasises initial volunteering engagements, potentially leading to employment opportunities through skill and network development.

Southwest Immigration Alliance

The Southwest Immigration alliance is a project funded by the Justice Together Initiative (JTI) to make immigration advice more accessible in the Southwest of England region

The Southwest struggles with a shortage of legal advice, particularly immigration advice. A report done by Bristol Refugee Rights and Bristol Law Centre, funded by the Justice Together Initiative (JTI), demonstrated the lack of adequate legal specialist immigration advice in the region due to limited capacity faced by high demand.

This project aims to establish a more coordinated, collaborative, and sustainable legal advice ecosystem that ensures that people who use the immigration system can access justice fairly and equally so that they can pursue their lives independently. This project is set to contribute to filling the gap in Southwest's legal access and strengthen the collaboration among legal providers in the region through 2 distinct delivery areas by sub-region:

In the 'North' sub-region covering Bristol, Gloucester, and Swindon: Improving referral pathways, added complex casework capacity (at BLC)​

In Devon & Cornwall covering Plymouth and Exeter: building capacity to develop sustainable ecosystem –relationships and other development work​.

 

We are working with:

Bristol Law Centre   Bristol Refugee Rights and Welcome Centre - Fareshare           The Harbour Project       GARAS Vacancy | Sacred Hearts

        University of Plymouth


For more information

For any inquiries on the project, please reach out to:

Karen Bowers – CEO, Bristol Law Centre:  karenb@bristollawcentre.org.uk

Baher Al Abd – Project Coordinator for the Southwest Immigration Alliance: bahera@bristollawcentre.org.uk