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2019 Simple Acts Highlights

This Refugee Week we invited you to do one of 7 Simple Acts to explore our theme of ‘You, me and those who came before’.

We hoped that by each doing something small, together we could help make new connections in our communities, gain a better understanding of refugee experiences and show solidarity and support to newcomers to the UK. Your responses were amazing! 

You shared recipes and food, made messages of welcome at your schools. You wrote poems, you listened and danced to the Refugee Week playlist! You investigated your own family history, and you shared stories about people who have sought refuge in the UK, to help us imagine life through their eyes. And through books, films and uncovering hidden histories, you heard (and told) a different story about refugees.

You can take part in Simple Acts at any time of year. Why not do one at home, school, your workplace (or anywhere else) later today? Visit the Simple Acts page to find out more.

competition 1

Competition time! We are giving away x4 sets of these three children’s books that explore themes of home, journeys and migration. See details below on how to enter (closing date: 25 October 2019).

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Ambassadors 2020

Our Refugee Week Ambassadors

This year we had an amazing group of Refugee Week Ambassadors who are passionate about working to change attitudes and perceptions around refugees by sharing their stories and talking to the media. You can read some of their blog posts on the Huffington Post here.

All our Ambassadors are from refugee, asylum seeking or migrant backgrounds. If you are interested in being an Ambassador for 2020 then please get in touch with us.


You, Me and Those Who Came Before: Legacy and Beyond.

Guest Post: Sabrina Richmond is a performer and writer and in her role as a Refugee Week Leader, she is the Globe’s Artist in Residence during Refugee Week. In this blog Sabrina talks about what home means to her […]




Singing out lives



Guest post: Singing our lives is is a ground-breaking creative process bringing together singers and musicians form refugee, migrant and local UK backgrounds to compose and perform new music together. Read more about their work and upcoming performance for Refugee Week at the Southbank Centre on 23rd June […]


Guest post: Inclusion begins in our communities: read more about how IOM UK are marking Refugee Week with an event at Bristol City Hall on 19th June, 5.30-7pm […]

 Sink wihtout trace

Guest post: The T06411 is a North African migrant boat named after the official code given by Italian customs when it was seized close to Lampedusa in 2012, with 36 migrants on board. The boat is moored in London this Refugee Week as part of a ‘floating installation’ by artist Lucy Wood.  Read more about her incredible journey and creative process here[…] 




Refugee Week partner up with language providers Rosetta Stone who will donate language courses to over 1000 refugees this Refugee Week. Read more about this exciting initiative here.


Guest post: Over the last two years St Joseph’s Cathedral Primary School, Swansea has been working on themes involving, migration, belonging and looking at the challenges and difficulties faced by Asylum seekers and Refugees. Here they tell us about their collaboration with Swansea City of Sanctuary and why they are being awarded a ‘Schools of Sanctuary Status’ for their work […]

Guest post: Refugee Week Ambassador Fatima Esayli is a young Sudanese woman, now pursuing her dreams to become an architect after arriving in the UK as a refugee at the age of 22. She talks here about how she has been able to discover herself and find a home outside of the place she was born […]

Guest post: Polly Gifford, member of the Hastings Supports Refugees group and organiser of Festival by the Lake, tells us more about their programme for this Refugee Week and how the festival has more than doubled in size since it began in 2016 […]



Guest post: Nosy Crow children’s author Karen McCombie tells us about Scotland’s forgotten history of the Highland Clearances, when thousands of Highlanders were displaced from their homes during the 18th and 19th centuries […]

pam 1

Guest post: Meet Pam, an activist in exile and one of our new 2019 Refugee Week Ambassadors

As an activist for political freedom in her native Thailand, Pam was an outspoken student critic of the junta regime. Because of this she was mistreated, jailed and persecuted. Pam is now an activist in exile and has been living in the UK with refugee status since 2016. She works with Refugee Week partner STAR (Student Action for Refugees) as their Communication and Campaign Volunteer Officer, working to improve how we welcome students from refugee and asylum seeking backgrounds here in Britain. She has written a blog for us about her work, and how volunteering in the Refugee Sector transformed her life as a refugee in the UK […]



Bards Without Borders #Shakespeare400
April 11th, 2016

Fresh from their performance at the Refugee Week Conference, poetry collective Bards Without Borders (BWB) will be performing at RichMix London on 23 April to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. The show has something for everyone. Merging old and new poetry, live music and puppetry, the crowd will be immersed […]

Organise your own Refugee Week event
March 23rd, 2016

With Refugee Week 2016 just 3 months away, it is time to start organising and uploading your own event. Anyone can organise an event, whether it be large or small scale, anywhere in the country, of any type. With this year’s theme of ‘Welcome’, there are endless possibilities and we will be right along side you to […]

Refugee Week to launch at London Southbank
March 8th, 2016
Femi Kuti

Refugee Week will launch in London on 19 June at the Southbank Centre as part of their world famous Meltdown festival – curated this year by Guy Garvey. Under the heading of Refugees Welcome, there will be ​an entire day of free activity in collaboration with Refugee Week partners. Musicians, poets and dancers will pop­-up […]

Remembering Eleanor Rathbone: The ‘MP for refugees’
February 29th, 2016

Guest post by Dr Susan Cohen, author of ‘Rescue the Perishing: Eleanor Rathbone and the Refugees’ and co-founder of Remembering Eleanor Rathbone. Dr Cohen is one of the organisers of ‘Welcome to Britain? Refugees Then and Now’, a conference for Refugee Week in memory of Eleanor Rathbone, at Kings College on 20 June 2016. The theme of […]

IOM UK at Refugee Week Conference 2016
February 22nd, 2016

This is a guest post by Refugee Week partners International Organization for Migration (IOM) UK. It was originally posted on the IOM UK website on February 18 2016 IOM UK is delighted to be part of Refugee Week, a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrates the contribution of refugees to the UK […]

#RefugeesWelcome: Introducing Refugee Week 2016 Social Media Campaign
February 18th, 2016

  Digital Consultant Jen Lowthrop presents top tips on promoting and storytelling on social media, plus an introduction to getting involved in the Refugee Week 2016 social media campaign. This presentation was part of Jen’s social media workshop at Refugee Week Conference 2016. Follow Jen at @jlowthrop

Storify of Refugee Week Conference 2016
February 17th, 2016

[View the story “Refugee Week Conference 2016” on Storify]

Listen: Stories of connection in the North West
August 13th, 2015

In the podcasts, refugees who’ve escaped persecution in Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Iran and found safety and friendship in the UK tell their gripping real-life tales. The recordings tell the stories of six refugees who have settled in Manchester, Salford and Oldham and begun to re-build their lives, and were aired widely during Refugee Week, including […]

Watch: Celebrating Sanctuary Bristol
June 30th, 2015
Screenshot from 2015-11-26 15:52:01

For more information about Celebrating Sanctuary Bristol and Bristol refugee Week visit:

Refugee week at the Horniman Museum and Gardens
June 25th, 2015

Lucia Cortelli, who has been volunteering at the Horniman for the past year, shares a few thoughts on our Refugee Week event. On Saturday 20 of June the Horniman hosted a day of events and activities to mark Refugee Week. This is a UK- wide event that celebrates the important contributions refugees make to their […]