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You’re giving people the safety they need to create new traditions.

This year Christmas is going to be a bit different for many of us. As winter sets in, and cost-of-living continues to rise, we are all feeling the pressure. 

For thousands of people seeking safety, this comes on top of the crises and fears they are already trying to navigate. Many are stuck living in unsafe accommodation and in extreme poverty. In unfamiliar settings, away from loved ones, this can be an isolating time.

Yaroslava knows this all too well. When war came to Ukraine earlier this year, she was forced to leave her home.

For people like Yaroslava, being able to celebrate the holidays can seem unimaginable.  

But now, with your support she’s hoping to find safety and a new place to call home here in the UK. Your generosity means we can ensure we are there as a lifeline for people being pushed to the brink. 

Will you donate to help people seeking safety rebuild their lives and find safe homes?

£20 could provide people like Yaroslava with a sim card and data top-up so they can stay connected with the family they are separated from.

£50 could provide someone with a well-being box this Christmas, filled with journals, mindfulness activities, winter gloves, and vital mental health resources. 

£100 could help people in crisis access sessions with a case worker, providing support, offering advice on integration, and ensuring their basic needs aren’t overlooked. 

YAROSLAVA’S STORY

“I left my home in March It was a long and tiring journey.  

In seven days, I travelled through Poland, Germany, France, and Spain. I could not sleep at night during this journey. 

My mum’s school friend, living in the UK, then offered to host me. I eventually arrived in the UK in May.  

Now, finally, I sleep at night. 

I am lucky, my hosts are really supportive. Every day she asks me how I am feeling. It is through my hosts that I found Refugee Action. 

I joined their Expert by Experience Network and Pathways to Work Project. I got to connect with new people, share my creativity, get better at English and receive employability support. I’m fortunate to have the right to work and started a job a few months ago.   

Being a refugee, or a person seeking asylum can be an isolating experience. This time year of year I’m usually gearing up for big New Year and Christmas celebrations with my family. But I can’t be with them this year.  

I’m not sure what my Christmas and New Year will look like. I’m here on my own. My mum is still in Ukraine, but it’s not Ukraine anymore. 

Now I’m forced to create new traditions.

"This year has shown me that I just don’t know what will happen, so I want to be here and enjoy what happens, here, today, now."

Over the last few months, I’ve painted a lot. It helps me feel connected. Some of my favourite Christmas memories from Ukraine as a child were making and hanging decorations with my parents and grandmother.  

I have designed a bauble to share with you. You can download your own copy to add to your festive decorations here.

“When I left Ukraine I relied on the kindness of friends who offered me safe places to stay. Now I’m seeing the kindness of people here.” 

Your donation can support people seeking safety this Christmas to find a safe home. You could help provide well-being services and crisis advice.