This June Refugee Week explore “the contributions of refugees in our history and heritage”. We commissioned a survey asking people from across the UK to tell us what, in their opinion, the most significant contributions are that refugees have made to the UK.

The report provides an overview of the survey findings and includes a few insightful responses by guest contributors. The one finding that has resonated most with us is that the huge majority of participants want our future generations to be better educated about Britain’s tradition in providing sanctuary and the benefits that this has brought to both refugee and host communities.

You can read the full report here.

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You will see that overall, Sigmund Freud was perceived to be the most popular refugee to make a significant contribution to British life. The Viennese psychoanalyst, who came to the UK in the late 1930s to escape Nazism, was voted as the nation’s favourite with half of respondents registering the father of psychology as their first preference.

We also loved that a vast majority (94%) believe that children should be taught the important role that the UK has played in protecting refugees throughout the centuries in schools. This clearly demonstrates that public opinion is overwhelmingly in favour of celebrating Britain’s tradition of welcome for generations to come.

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Our refugee history time-line and archive

In response to this we have created a new online time-line and living archive, which we hope will be a fun and engaging way to learn more about refugee contributions and ‘movements’ to the UK throughout centuries. Please add your own stories and insights too:

Thank you to our partner Amnesty International UK for creating the infographics for our report.