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Britain has a proud tradition of accepting people from all around the world, many of whom have fled persecution in their home country. The UK's history and success would be very different without the enterprise and skills of those who have come to settle here. Refugees possess a wealth of knowledge and talent that can contribute socially, economically and culturally to shaping communities.

In the first 6 months of 2015 more than 220,000 people were detected crossing the Mediterranean into Europe. Many of these are fleeing conflict in Syria which has resulted in over 220,000 deaths and forced more than 11 million people to flee their homes. The UK government is taking part in the United Nations programme to resettle refugees that have fled their home countries including those affected by conflict or civil war.

Since 2011 the UK government has granted humanitarian protection to almost 5,000 Syrians through the normal asylum procedures. The UK government is also taking part in actions to assist the needs of vulnerable people in Syria and refugees in the region. More information is available from the Department of International Development:

On September 7 2015 the Prime Minister announced an expansion of an existing aid scheme, the Syrian Vulnerable Person Scheme, to accept up to 20,000 Syrian refuges over the next 5 years.

It is anticipated that these 20,000 people will be resettled through the Syrian Vulnerable Person Scheme. This was launched in January 2014 and was the first resettlement programme run by the UK to target support for refugees specifically on the basis of their vulnerability.

Nationally there has been many generous offers of support from the general public, local authorities, businesses and other organisations. Teignbridge is no different and the number of community initiatives is gratifying

How can I help?

You can call the Red Cross's dedicated phone line on 0800 107 8727 if you'd like to discuss what you can do to help.

I have a free room in my house

Many organisations in the UK operate accommodation hosting projects to help vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees.

NACCOM is an informal network of agencies providing accommodation to migrants.

I have a property that could be used to house refugees

Please contact your local authority. You will probably be redirected to their private sector housing team.

I want to volunteer to help refugees

Several charities and organisations are working with refugees across the UK. To find out more about volunteering opportunities visit:

You could also contact the Refugee Council.

I'm a professional who could help refugees integrate on arrival in the UK

Contact the Refugee Council.

I just want to do something to help

There are a number of charities and organisations that are raising awareness and donations to help refugees who have recently arrived and those who are already in the UK. Please contact these charities and organisations directly.

I have clothes/books/toys etc that I want to donate

Many charities have been inundated with generous offers of donated goods from members of the public. Because of the logistical challenges in storing and transporting donated items, some can't accept any donations currently. Check with your local refugee organisations to see what they need.

You can also donate items to Save the Children charity shops. The items won't go directly to child refugees but the money raised helps us to support them.

I have a business and have an idea that could help

There are a number of charities and organisations across the UK that are raising awareness and donations to help refugees who have recently arrived and those who are already in the UK. Please contact these charities and organisations directly.

I want to help refugees overseas

You can support Save the Children's Child Refugee Crisis Appeal. Their teams are working across Europe and in the countries refugees are fleeing from to provide aid and support.

You can support UNHCR's emergency appeal for the refugee crisis in Europe. UNHCR is on the ground providing life-saving support to refugees arriving in Europe.

I want to foster a child

You can find out more about fostering a child through Devon County Council.

You could also contact one of these national organisations that help with fostering in the UK:


When this content has been updated

Last updated 22 December 2020