20 June every year is World Refugee Day. Ensuring that refugees are welcome within the UK is hugely important. There are a lot of misconceptions shared about refugees within the modern world, especially due to social media. Correcting this information is not just for the benefit of refugees but for everybody.  In recent years, the number of refugees within the UK has risen for a variety of reasons including war. In 2021, the UK received 48,540 asylum applications from main applicants only. This is 63% more than the previous year and the highest number for almost two decades. These refugees have been through an substantial amount before they reach the UK, making them feel welcome when they get to the UK is of the upmost importance. Below you can find five ways to make a refugee feel welcome within your community.

Educate yourself and others about refugees

Unfortunately, over the last few years society as a whole has  been seen to be spreading an exceptionally negative attitude toward refugees. Politics and social media have significantly contributed to this predominately negative, false viewpoint on refugees. This negative viewpoint and spreading of misinformation makes it harder for refugees to feel welcomed within the country. Everyone individual  within society can play a part in countering the spread of this misinformation about refugees.  Reading information about what a refugee legally is and the process to enter the UK as a refugee is an important step in educating yourself and others. Visit sites such as Refugee ActionRed Cross and Refugee Council to provide yourself with accurate information on the subject of refugees.

group of people standing on seashore
Photo by Eric Masur on Become an advocate for refugees within your community

There are plenty of options for becoming an advocate for refugees within your community. You could talk to your local MP and council about getting involved with the refugee resettlement scheme. You could become a community sponsorship group or join an existing community group. Finally, you could volunteer your time and skills with a refugee charity.

Provide language lessons for refugees

While some refugees are able to speak English not all are able to which provides a barrier for settling happily within the UK. Not being able to speak English certainly is a barrier for refugees who wish to seek work opportunities within the UK. English language lessons provide access to education, companionship and employment. Lessons also help refugees to feel part of the community. If you are able to you can provide support by offering your time as a language teacher which would be hugely beneficial for refugees.

Donate goods and clothes

A simple way to help refugees within the UK is to donate goods and clothes. Refugees face difficult journeys when feeling their countries. The hurried nature provided refugees no opportunities to gather their belongings which often leaves to them only having the clothes they are wearing and nothing else. Donating your old items provides refugees with a chance to start their new lives and provides freedom.

Welcome them to the community

Ensuring that when refugees arrive within your community or area you take the time to welcome them is a hugely important step you could take. If they feel safe and welcome, they will be happier within their new lives within the UK. Making it plainly clear that you are happy they are here will help to ease the transition. After the initial welcome please ensure