Who are we and what we do
Herbalists Without Borders Bristol is a branch of Herbalists Without Borders UK. We are a collaboration of clinical herbalists, herb growers and the local herbal community. Our shared vision is to create a support clinic for asylum seekers and regufees that provides a threefold programme of free herbal healthcare in Bristol, including:
- one-on-one consultations with trained herbalists in their clinics
- access to a mobile dispensary treating common ailments, such as: insomnia, anxiety, coughs and low immunity
- involving migrants in self-care workshops that aim to improve general health and wellbeing, and to teach basic herbal medicine
Once we are more established we aim to collaborate with similar projects working overseas, by providing medicine and resources.
Why is it needed?
Setting up the clinic is a deeply rooted act of resistance against an unjust global political system that has created such unjust borders, as well as the government’s introduction of the new immigration bill, which exacerbates the already extreme difficulties refugees and asylum seekers are facing. Homelessness, unstable housing, poverty, loneliness and social isolation, and living in a constant state of uncertainty regarding their future and asylum status, are just some of the challenges that people who have fled their homes face daily. Living in such stressful conditions greatly impacts their health and wellbeing, by creating high levels of anxiety, insomnia, coughs, chest infections, and low immunity, as well as other more complex and/or chronic conditions.
We believe that herbal medicine is an important part of any healthcare system and can have profound effects individually, as a community, and in wider society. Being part of a herbal growing project, making a connection to the local natural environment, and learning the tools of self-care plays a vital part in improving health and wellbeing.
How will my money be spent?
We came together in June 2016, and have been meeting monthly since. We have hosted four medicine making evenings, in which we have made large quantities of medicine intended to treat conditions asylum seekers and refugees commonly experience over the challenging winter period.
Your donation will help to establish the project further by enabling us to distribute this medicine. To do this we need to:
- commission a mobile dispensary in order to deliver the medicine to local asylum seeker and refugee projects
- continue running community herbal medicine making workshops. Costs include: room hire, herbs (that we aren't able to source locally), ingredients such as alcohol (for tinctures) & other means of preserving herbs (oil, vinegar, glycerine), containers, bottles, etc.
- training for herbalists and volunteers to deliver the medicine to local projects. This includes awareness of cultural sensitivities and an understanding of basic immigration law.
- van hire to enable migrants to be regularly involved with the Asylum Seekers Allotment, where we grow herbs for the project
- making extra medicines for free herbal healthcare projects in Calais, Paris, Greece, and elsewhere.
What other ways can I help?
We always need extra hands making the medicine in Bristol, and growing and harvesting the herbs. No previous experience is necessary! If you’re interested in being involved please get in touch with us through the Crowdfunder website.
Every contribution helps us to build a support network for asylum seekers and refugees in Bristol and beyond.