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Here’s how you can help refugees

By July 8, 2017January 31st, 2023Blog post
A refugee family sit in their living room in the UK. Mum and dad sit on the sofa with their baby daughter and elder daughter. Their two young sons sit on the floor; one brother is laughing at the other, who is smiling at the camera with a cheeky grin.

As the refugee crisis worsens, millions of men, women and children face an uncertain future. But what can you do about it?

Every day, we’re contacted by people who want to help refugees. We can’t always accept every offer of help, but we can usually suggest another organisation or group for you to get in touch with. And we’re always thankful for your kind words and support.

So, here are 10 ways you can make a difference to the lives of refugees. Take a look, get involved, and if you have any questions just contact us.

Campaign for refugees’ rights

Right now Refugee Action is campaigning for more refugees to get the chance to learn English, and for changes to the law to help reunite divided refugee families.

Supporting either campaign is a great way to stand up for refugees. To go even further, join a refugees’ welcome group near you with our friends Citizens UK.

Donate or fundraise for refugees

To refugees who’ve lost everything to war, your support makes a massive difference.

Whether you donate, join an event, put on your own fundraiser or even recycle your old car or phone to raise cash, every penny helps keep our doors open to people in need.

Welcome refugees to your community

Is your community welcoming refugees? Read our guide to making newcomers feel welcomed and safe in your town, or join a City of Sanctuary group in your area.

If your area hasn’t accepted any refugees, you can still leave some kind words on our Refugees’ Welcome message board.

Amplify refugees’ voices

Refugees are rarely out of the headlines. But what do they think about their experiences?

Find out by reading a real-life refugee story in our Refugee Voices gallery. Once you’ve read it, help it reach more people by sharing it.

Get the facts about refugees

Want to know the real facts about refugees? Check out 10 of the most common myths and misconceptions we hear on our Facts about Asylum page.

Refugee Week also have some great resources about refugees throughout British history and famous people you might not know are refugees.

Donate clothing or goods

Refugee Action sadly cannot accept donations of clothing or other material goods for refugees – except for donations of men’s clothing and good quality children’s toys in Liverpool, where we run a drop-in with the British Red Cross (email for details).

However, Help Refugees can accept donations of specific items of clothing, goods and food; Carry the Future can accept certain kinds of baby carriers; and The Bike Project can accept unwanted bicycles to give refugees in the UK access to free and healthy transport.

While not a donation of goods, Phone Credit for Refugees does provide practical help for refugees by giving them phone credit. It can be a lifeline for people who are separated from family and friends, miles away from home and in very uncertain circumstances.

You can also use the Help Refugees tool from the website to offer help to refugees in your local area. You’ll be asked what help you can offer, such as housing, fostering or donations of goods like clothes and toys.

Volunteer with refugees

Volunteering opportunities at Refugee Action are listed on our Volunteers page. You can also sign up for our Volunteer Alerts.

You can find more volunteering opportunities through Citizens UK, Help Refugees, via your local volunteer centre or through

If you are an asylum seeker you have the right to volunteer. Read our guidance on how you can volunteer as an asylum seeker.

Find out about hosting

If you’re considering hosting refugees or asylum seekers in your home, first read this this very useful guide to hosting compiled by The Guardian.

Organisations that can help you offer shelter to a refugee include Refugees at Home, Positive Action in Housing’s Room for Refugees scheme and the NACCOM No Accommodation Network.

Help resettle refugees

If you represent a local authority and want information about resettling refugees in your area, contact our resettlement experts.

If you’re not from a local authority but think your area could accept resettled refugees, Citizens UK can help you set up a local refugees’ welcome group.

Stay in touch

To stay in touch and hear about future ways to help refugees, you can sign up for our email updates or follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTube or Instagram.

And finally…

Thank you for wanting to help refugees.

Whatever you can give – time, money or a warm welcome – and however big or small your action, it is needed and it will make a difference.