Statement regarding At-Bristol Science Centre allowing refugee and asylum seekers free entry
Wednesday 10 May | Jen Forster
At-Bristol Science Centre is an educational charity, with a mission to “make science accessible to all”. We receive no direct central government funding, and we rely on ongoing, valuable support from our visitors, members, trustees, grantmakers, corporate partners and volunteers.
We have received feedback regarding our recently initiated refugee and asylum seeker offer, and recognise that some people may have strong feelings about us allowing free entry to some groups.
As part of our ongoing Community Engagement programme, we seek to build strong, sustainable relationships with under-represented groups from across Bristol. We have recently extended an offer whereby refugees and asylum seekers can visit At-Bristol for free, opening our doors to families who have been affected by refugee displacement. Along with the City of Bristol, we signed a City of Sanctuary pledge; a national organisation which aims to provide a welcoming place of safety for all.
This community-driven programme is part of our wider Community Engagement activities, which include our ‘Hello’ Weekends (which have been running since 2012), where we work with communities who are currently under-represented in our visitors. These free weekends give those families and community groups where social and economic reasons may prevent them from visiting, a chance to explore At-Bristol together. We have longstanding relationships with various community partners, who we have been directly in touch with regarding this new initiative.
Alongside our Community Engagement programme, we also run outreach programmes, including work with the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and families of offenders to provide valuable opportunities for families to play together during a difficult period in their lives. We also run a Community Membership scheme to support ongoing visits at a reduced rate.
We do have regular offers throughout the year for a variety of audiences including; our Funded School Visits programme, discounted education rates (including Home Educators), free carers for disabled visitors, Kids Go Free offers and late entry offers.
We run a monthly audience participation group in At-Bristol, which actively looks at the audiences who visit At-Bristol, and those who do not, so we can create a sustainable strategy for audience development. We review and evaluate all ticket offers and audience groups. Feedback from this offer will be taken forward, and incorporated in these reviews.
Any concerns regarding this offer are being dealt with directly on an individual basis.