Refugee Councils of Britain selected for Guardian Charity Appeal - Refugee Council
December 8, 2023

Refugee Councils of Britain selected for Guardian Charity Appeal

The Refugee Councils of Britain, made up of the Refugee Council, the Scottish Refugee Council and the Welsh Refugee Council, will receive some of the funds raised by the Guardian and Observer papers’ annual Charity Appeal this year.

The appeal, which launches today, encourages readers to donate to the chosen charities in order to help refugees rebuild their lives in the UK. As part of the appeal, the newspapers will profile the charities’ vital work through articles and a film.


The Refugee Councils of Britain support people who have fled conflict, violence and persecution to restart their lives in safety in the UK. Their work started in 1951 following the creation of the UN Refugee Convention, with the formation of the British Refugee Council, and as the UK welcomed generations of refugees, the need for dedicated charities in Wales and Scotland led to the Scottish Refugee Council being established in 1985 and the Welsh Refugee Council in 1990.

The charities support children and adults who have been forced to flee their homes, providing crisis advice and practical, hands-on support to help people navigate the asylum process and settle into their new communities, as well as access specialist mental health therapy to help them recover from trauma.

Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council, said:

“We are thrilled the Guardian has chosen to shine a light on refugees and people in the asylum system through their appeal this year, raising awareness of the issues they face and the work refugee organisations play in helping them rebuild their lives.

“The funds raised will help make vulnerable men, women and children feel welcome in the UK after having fled war, torture and persecution in some of the world’s most dangerous places.

“The solidarity of the public is all the more important this year given the Government’s hostile policies that are having such a devastating impact on all those we work with.

“With the support of the Guardian and Observer’s readers, the Refugee Councils of Britain will keep working to build a fair and humane asylum system that upholds our international commitments to provide protection to those who need it.” 

Sabir Zazai, CEO of the Scottish Refugee Council, said:

“We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the Guardian’s featured charities this winter.

“Our services are needed now more than ever. Our team have been working non-stop to support people seeking safety in Scotland, but there is always so much more to do. The Guardian readers’ donations will go towards making sure people are welcomed, supported and listened to.

“We hope this campaign sends a message of solidarity to everyone who has been forced to flee their home. We all deserve a warm welcome and a safe home this Christmas.”

Andrea Cleaver, CEO of the Welsh Refugee Council, said:

“This is the time of year when many of us reflect on togetherness, generosity, and peace. The funds raised through the Guardian’s appeal will help us provide crucial services and support to the thousands of families and individuals we see every year. But this campaign also embodies our vision of creating a place of welcome and compassion for all who seek sanctuary in Wales. We are grateful to be included in this project alongside the other charity partners.”

The charities say the appeal will help them to fund vital services across the country which support refugees to connect with their local community and return to employment.  It will also help fund the Councils’ campaigning work – championing refugee rights and raising awareness by promoting the voices and experiences of refugee communities across the UK.

Donations to the Refugee Councils of Britain will go to the British Refugee Council, who will share funds raised with partner organisations the Scottish Refugee Council and the Welsh Refugee Council.

The other charities chosen by the Guardian are hosting charity Refugees at Home and NACCOM, the UK-wide national network of frontline organisations working to end destitution amongst people seeking asylum, refugees and migrants, who will distribute funds to refugee community organisations.