9 ways to help refugees without donating money

‘What can I do to help refugees?’ It’s a question we’re often asked. Because helping isn’t just about donating money. There are a huge number of ways you can help refugees – all without putting your hand in your pocket. Here are just a few. And if you’ve got a great suggestion to add to this list, please do get in touch.

 

If you’ve got five minutes or less…

 

  • Take action to help refugees from your laptop

Sometimes busy schedules or a lack of free time mean we need quick and easy ways to help. Luckily, there are a wide range of quick online actions you can take to support refugees.

 

If you’ve got a few hours to spare…

 

  • Volunteer in the UK to help refugees

There are many ways to help locally. You could volunteer with Help Refugees doing festival salvage – ensuring useful items left behind at UK festivals go to people who really need them. You could get in touch if you have specific skills (like filmmaking, animation, web design – to name a few) to see if we could put them to use. You could sign up to our mailing list – you’ll get regular updates about ways to get involved. Find out more about how to get involved in volunteering in the UK.

  • Find out how to welcome refugees to your community

Community Sponsorship enables local volunteer groups to resettle a refugee family in their neighbourhood. It’s a big commitment, but an incredible way to welcome refugees into your community. Whether it’s made up of your neighbours, friends or colleagues, if your group has got the time, commitment and can raise the necessary funds – you could transform the lives of a refugee family.  Find out more about community sponsorship.

If you’ve got a day…

 

  • Donate items to help refugees

Have you got some warm clothes or tinned food to donate? Maybe you have a whole van full? We need your help! Across the UK are donation drop-off points for these kinds of items. Check our website to see what’s currently needed, then get collecting!

  • Join campaigns and advocate for refugees

Once refugees get to the UK, often their journey is only just beginning. People face huge challenges in rebuilding their lives – and there are a wide range of campaigns trying to change policy and improve this.

You could join the campaign to lift the ban on working for people seeking refugee status – a policy that’s currently causing suffering and destitution.

You could campaign to end indefinite detention in the UK – an brutal system that means asylum seekers and the surivors of torture and trafficking can be held in detention without a time limit in the UK.

Help Refugees volunteers salvaging at Glastonbury

Help Refugees volunteers salvaging at Glastonbury

If you’ve got a week or more…

 

  • Volunteer internationally to help refugees

Help Refugees works in collaboration with indiGO Volunteers to connect you with more than 50 grassroots projects responding to the refugee crisis in Greece, Bosnia and Serbia. If you’re interested in volunteering, indiGO will match up your skills and availability with projects in need of help. Volunteers at these incredible groups are running community centres, providing medical care, delivering education projects, providing legal advice and so much more. Find out how to get involved in international volunteering.

  • Welcome refugees to your community

Community Sponsorship enables local volunteer groups to resettle a refugee family in their neighbourhood. It’s a big commitment, but an incredible way to welcome refugees into your community. Whether it’s made up of your neighbours, friends or colleagues, if your group has got the time, commitment and can raise the necessary funds – you could transform the lives of a refugee family.  Find out more about community sponsorship

  • Get your university to offer scholarships or bursaries to refugees

Education is a key element of fostering inclusion, boosting employment and enabling people to rebuild their lives. But entering or continuing higher education is a huge challenge for refugees. Worldwide, just 1% of refugee youth make it to university.

In the UK, you can join the campaign for equal access to higher education for refugees and asylum seekers. Many universities already offer home fees, tuition fee waivers, bursaries and scholarships. Make sure you uni does too. There’s a toolkit to get started from Student Action for Refugees.

  • Share your home with a refugee

Many single refugees who are not viewed as priorities for housing by local authorities – but finding the money for rent and a deposit is out of reach for many people. Because of this, refugees may homelessness and destitution. We can help prevent this. Schemes like Refugees at Home and Room for Refugees connect people with spare rooms in the UK, with refugees and asylum seekers in need of accommodation.