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You can help us create some amazing firsts this Christmas

Christmas is often a magical time. Children are giddy with excitement, lights fill the streets and decorations take centre stage in our home.

But for those who are navigating a new life in the UK, it can be hard to adjust find a support system and fully experience this joy. Doing something for the first time can be exciting, but for many of the families we support the firsts they face are daunting.

This year many people will be spending their first few months in the UK, and maybe even experiencing their first Christmas here. We are asking our supporters to help us ensure that people’s first experiences in the UK are welcoming ones.

£20 could provide children with crafting supplies and a selection of board games so they can enjoy their favourite celebrations.

£50 could provide a refugee family with their first weekly shop to help as they arrive in the UK to rebuild their lives.

£100 could fund six sessions with a support case worker, offering people vital wellbeing support as they navigate the harsh realities of the asylum process.

M.A’s Story

Since arriving in the UK with my family in 2015 after fleeing our home in North Africa, our lives have been full or firsts. Some have been exciting, but many were terrifying. Throughout every first Refugee Action has been there for us.

"Christmas was one of my firsts. "

I’m a Muslim and from a Muslim country. I grew up in a big, diverse city so I was aware of Christmas. But I’d never celebrated it. My first direct experience of Christmas was watching my daughter take part in a Christmas play when she started school. I was so proud of her.

One of my family’s biggest celebrations is Ashura. It is similar to Christmas in some ways. We are with family, we give toys and gifts to children, and there is traditional food. It’s been harder to continue this tradition in the UK, we don’t know as many people here.

No matter what religion you follow or what celebrations you take part in, festivities feel extra hard when you’re living away from your loved ones.

We are living in new unfamiliar places trapped by a hostile system that pushes many into poverty. But Refugee Action always takes time to celebrate with us and make the occasions we honour feel special. My daughters drew the Christmas tree on this page to thank Refugee Action supporters for the kindness they have shown. Download your own copy to add to your decorations here. Whether it be helping celebrate Christmas, Eid or any other event, Refugee Action, and its supporters like you bring smiles to children and that’s really important.

But there are lots of people struggling and many children still suffering mentally right now. It is really important for people seeking sanctuary to know they have people around them supporting them.

This Christmas, will you ensure people’s first experience of the UK is a welcoming one? Your donation can help provide welcoming services, wellbeing support and crisis advice.