BLOG – Top ten refugee organisations to support
Across the globe, millions of refugees have fled their countries as a result of war, violence, conflict and persecution.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, 84 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide. 4.4 million of these people are asylum seekers, and 26.6 million are refugees.
Statistics show that as of mid-2021 within the UK, there were 135,912 refugees, 83,489 pending asylum cases and 3,968 stateless people.
These staggering statistics demonstrate the large proportion of refugees and asylum seekers who have fled to the UK, and often face many challenges as they try to rebuild their lives.
How can we help?
There are many ways in which we can make a difference to refugees living in the UK.
The best way to show your support is by getting involved with organisations who provide advice and help to those who need it.
Here is a list of the top 10 local, regional and national charities and organisations that you can support.
Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (PAFRAS)
A community-based charity which has worked with refugees and asylum seekers in Leeds since 2002.
You can support the charity by donating money, providing tinned food and toiletries or organising a fundraising event.
Leeds Asylum Seekers’ Support Network (LASSN)
Founded in 1999 to respond to the unmet needs of refugees and asylum seekers living in Leeds, LASSN offers support to those with limited English, who experience acute isolation, poor mental health and prolonged uncertainty over their asylum claim.
There are many opportunities to volunteer with LASSN under a range of schemes, such as befriending a refugee, helping them to develop abilities and improving English reading and writing skills, all of which you can read about here.
Solace offers psychotherapy to refugees and asylum seekers across Yorkshire and the Humber. Specialising in trauma and persecution, its practitioners provide talking therapy to individuals, families and children.
Solace has options to either leave a gift in your will, set up regular donations or submit a one-off donation.
Meeting Point Leeds
Aims to serve the needs of refugees and asylum seekers regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, ability or legal status.
Focusing on social integration, the organisation provides community provisions such as health, employment, advice, family support and food provision.
Clothing and food donations can be delivered to Christ Church on Mondays from 10am-6pm. You can also donate an amount here.
A national leading charity which works with refugees and people seeking asylum. Committed to empowering people who have fled conflict, violence and persecution, Refugee Council provides crisis advice, mental health counselling and practical support.
Get involved by campaigning with the charity and joining the community to hear about upcoming key dates.
Leeds Ukrainian Community Centre
A small, community-based club in Leeds, which has recently been collecting donations for the current Ukraine crisis.
One way you can show your support is by donating food, clothes and money, which you can find more about on the Facebook page.
British Red Cross
The UK’s largest provider of services for refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants. The organisation is dedicated to ensuring people find safe and legal routes to new countries and provide essential aid.
Show your kindness by discovering local volunteering opportunities or gaining work experience.
Refugee Education Training Advice Service
Located in Leeds, this service provides assistance with access to education, training and employment to help refugees integrate into their communities.
Find out how to become a ‘Welcome to Leeds’ volunteer, which involves supporting new arrivals to access different services across Leeds and feel more settled in the city.
Founded in response to government failure across Europe to protect and support those who had fled violent conflict, Refugee Support aims to create a world where all refugees can lead a life with dignity.
You can join the global community of over 1,000 volunteers here.
Leeds Refugee Forum
This local charity is focused on ensuring that refugees and asylum seekers in the city feel safe and have access to support.
Show your support by helping out at Leeds Refugee Forum, where you can work in areas including tutoring young people, teaching IT, graphic design, video, photography and CV assistance.
As a college, we’re dedicated to becoming a College of Sanctuary, which is centred on extending a welcome to everyone as equal, valued members of the college community. Find out more about our pledge here.