The charity Breaking Barriers celebrated 20 years of Refugee Week by completing every single on of our 20  Simple Acts! Their communications lead Isabel Buruma writes:


Simple Act number 8: Bake a Cake. Our amazing volunteers baked cakes which were shared between the team and clients at our Advice & Guidance centres in Hoxton and Clapham

Simple Act number 8: Bake a Cake. Our amazing volunteers baked cakes which were shared between the team and clients at our Advice & Guidance centres in Hoxton and Clapham

It is easy to sit up and take notice, What is difficult is getting up and taking action. – Honore de Balzac

We joined in on the celebrations by participating in Refugee Week’s 20 #simpleacts which invited everyone to choose an act to raise awareness and spread messages of love and support to every refugee.

The Breaking Barriers team took on the challenge to complete all 20 acts in one week with a little help from our volunteers, clients, business partners, and donors! We’d like to thank the organisers of Refugee Week for setting up great platform and campaign that was accessible to all organisations and people. This was such a great opportunity to bring people together to talk about a cause that is close to our hearts.

We’ve listed a few of our favourites Simple Acts below.


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My favorite simple act we did was having lunch together as a team and learning new languages such as Tigrinyan, Arabic, and Amharic. It was fascinating to learn that in Tigrinya you talk about yourself in the third person, Harriet likes this.”  Harriet – Fundraising Officer

Simple Act 18 – Have a Kickabout

I attended the Freedom From Torture ‘Great Street Feast’ event with my colleague Suzanne on World Refugee Day. It was fantastic to break bread, meet new people and raise much needed funds for this fantastic charity.’ Isabel – PR Consultant


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Simple Act 13 – Make a Gift

I wanted to recommend some books that cover different views of the refugee journey. These include Syrian Road by Abu Maya, a photobook with images of Syria before the crisis and Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, a novel that describes the journey of a young couple and their experiences through war, migration and more.” Olivia – Programme Coordinator

Simple Act 5 – 20 Objects

Simple act number 5 was all about 20 objects that define the refugee experience. At Breaking Barriers we decided to focus on the future and listed 20 different objects that would help our clients on their journey into employment. These included a laptop, bike, watch and smart clothing. Do you have anything you could donate? Rebecca – Head of Design

Here’s a final word from our CEO Matthew Powell:

We are a relatively young charity and marking the 20thanniversary of Refugee Week was something we felt very strongly about. We wanted to acknowledge the individuals and organisations who have dedicated time and energy to the cause before us and join them in amplifying positive messages of support to a wider audience. The simple acts campaign proved that a series of small decisions, choices and actions can make a very big difference. We truly believe change can come from a collective of individuals working together for the same positive change. As a charity we believe every refugee in London can integrate into their new home through employment and education opportunities that match their skills, experience and desire to work and endeavour to support them into meaningful employment. In the past year we’ve supported over 500 refugees and we have ambitious plans to grow in the next few years so we can support clients outside of London as well.”

There are 20 Simple Acts to celebrate 20 years of Refugee Week. For more information and the full list, visit the Simple Acts page.