What is the Bristol Refugee Hackday?

Bristol Refugee Hackday is a project, with the first event taking place on 24th and 25th June 2016 to bring those with coding and technical skills, social media and web skills together with those who have experience of the asylum system and the needs of refugees and asylum seekers in Bristol. Over the event we will work together on ways digital technology could assist with some of the issues faced by the various support organisations, asylum seekers and people from refugee backgrounds.

What is the Bristol Refugee Hackday summary in other languages:
Kurdish(help translate)


Asylum Dawn

Bristol Food Network

Contact Guardian

Contact Guardian is an innovative solution to help people who have been detained notify their contacts when their phone has been taken away. … More Contact Guardian

Refugee Data

The Refugee Data team wanted to visualise and analyse data about refugees and asylum seekers in Bristol and we are working with them to consult organisations about what data they collect and how they can help. … More Refugee Data

Refugee Stories


Skill Shack

Sleep and Eat



The Bristol Refugee Hackday will run during Refugee Week 2016 from 6pm on 24th June to 6pm on the 25th June at the Trinity Centre, Trinity Road (off of Old Market street), Bristol. Please note this isn’t an overnight event. We will close at 10:30pm on Friday 24th June and reopen at 10am on Saturday 25th June.

Eventbrite - Bristol Refugee Hackday: Refugee Week 2016


Trinity @TrinityBristol  www.3ca.org.uk who are supporting us through the Trinity Community Initiative.

What is a hackday/hackathon?

This event is inspired by EmpowerHack and Techfugees and combined with the amazingness which is Bristol right now and the need for something like this to happen .

Blog Post: Inspiration and Ideas from other events

Who is organising it?

Currently: @TheRehn @Polisonic_a @ls_alba @TrinityBristol @SilviCultrix

Please tweet us @BrisRefugeeHD or fill out this form if you or your organisation are interested in getting involved in organising or supporting this event.

We are sponsored by

The Trinity Community Initiative, Connecting Bristol and Thndrnlightn

Prizes have been donated by – Puzzlair, Developme

Who can attend?

The hack needs bring together a wide variety of people, but also needs to be balanced and manageable. This may mean we need to have an application process or other system to help achieve this. It is important that those from an asylum seeker and refugee background can attend and to achieve this we will need to explore childcare and interpretation.

What will we do?

After hearing about the situation for refugees and asylum seekers in Bristol and the different organisations based here and discussing together, we will then split into small teams of around 5 people working together on digital projects around refugee issues in Bristol e.g education/skills, crisis response, transport (and fundraising, awareness raising etc) and create prototypes or testable versions of their project to take forward.

At 5pm on Saturday we will share what we have done with 2 minutes presentations from each team, questions and comments and some prizes donated by Puzzl

The presentations will be streamed by Periscope, but you can also come along in person too, just sign up at the event below.

What would we make?

We would consult with different organisations and also gather relevant research and the first part of the hackday would be focused on sharing this information.

I have an idea or problem that you might be able to work on

Add a comment below or send it to us.

Isn’t this a bit gimmicky?

There is always a fear we will create yet another app which is never used. We appreciate not all asylum seekers and refugees do not have smartphones, but many do and we are interested in creating solutions supporters as well. For example a webapp which allows someone to select their situation to find out the right organisation to go to would be useful to individuals and organisations in sign-posting.

Confused or skeptical about refugees and tech projects?

Can tech solve everything?

No. It is clear that many of the problems that refugees and asylum seekers face in Bristol are related to government policy and politics, as well as issues of poverty, discrimination and exclusion. Technological solutions cannot solve many of these problems, but they can address some of the issues. Hackathons are also great for short-term solutions as something can be created and be ready to use quickly to address problems now, whilst campaigns and challenges are made against policy.


5 thoughts on “What is the Bristol Refugee Hackday?

  1. Hi guys, this looks great. I’d be interested to attend providing the date is convenient. Just a thought, hacks don’t have to have a tech outcome, we have ran a few now within our charity and often we find practical solutions as well as technological solutions. Maybe this is something worth factoring in to the day?


  2. Hi all,

    Gutted as I would have loved to have helped out but unfortunately I’m on holiday! Let me know if you need any social media marketing promotion done for the event though.

    Best of luck!


    1. Hi Sophie

      It’s me Ruth (@therehn), I am involved in organising the hackday. Actually what would you think about you and I running a social media workshop for the projects developing from the event a month or two after the hackday to help them move forward? Would be great to pool our knowledge!


  3. Hi, I am a Salesforce Consultant who works in the charity sector. I have touched in the region of 150 charities of all shapes and sizes. Salesforce can help with the backend, so managing volunteers, donations, services and beneficiaries. Basically anything that becomes too cumbersome to manage on a spreadsheet, Salesforce can help. I am wondering whether this skill set would be useful for this project? Its not so much creating an ‘App’, but more a database with advanced functionality. Does this hackday work with a charity or group of charities?


    1. Hi Sara,
      The Hackday is run by a group of volunteers with experience in the charity sector and events organisation. We are collaborating with a number of Refugee organisations in Bristol to make the Hackday happen.
      We are keen for people with data management skills to join. The HD will have a data component as some of the solutions have to do with better integrating information (for example as discussed here: https://bristolrefugeehackday.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/a-wake-up-call/ ). That said, the organisations will not necessarily have Salesforce or the funding to purchase it. Do get in touch if you think you can get involved in any way!


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