Refugee Council works with thousands of refugees and people seeking asylum each year.  We provide crisis advice and practical support, to help refugees integrate into their new communities and offer mental health counselling to help them come to terms with the trauma so many of them have experienced. We are the only organisation providing a national service in support of refugee children and young people who arrive in the UK alone.

The charity was founded in 1951 in response to the UN Convention for Refugees. The right to claim asylum is an international human right and the Refugee Council believes that all those who come to the UK seeking protection should be treated equally with others in society.

How you can help refugees

Covid-19 will make this Christmas very different for us all. Not least for refugees, who face the winter alone, in poverty and uncertain about their future. There are lots of ways that you can get involved and help make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable refugees this winter, from donating to campaigning.

The Refugee Council was always there for me, always. Allen - Refugee Council client

Our services for refugees

Read more about the vital services we provide to refugees to help them recover from trauma and rebuild their lives.

Some refugees who are particularly vulnerable due to health conditions, or because they are at a high risk of harm or exploitation, are selected for resettlement by the United Nations. They are transferred to countries like the UK, which has agreed to offer them a safe place where they can finally rebuild their lives.

We give resettled refugees the support they need to rebuild their lives. Working with local communities, groups and public services, we ensure they have a warm welcome and a home in which to begin their new lives. We support them to learn English, understand local customs, and access healthcare and education.

Read more about resettlement

We provide asylum and welfare support, help trafficked children and those whose age has been disputed. We offer mental health therapy to help the children come to terms with their experiences. We also help them with issues such as their care arrangements, education, health issues and other concerns. Or we can simply be someone to talk to when there is no one else to turn to.

Read more about children’s services

People seeking safety in the UK are often deeply traumatised. We help them to make sense of their experiences, drawing on their resilience and strength to recover and start rebuilding their lives.

We provide specialist mental health support to help refugees to rebuild their lives using the resilience, strength and skills acquired on their journeys. Our experienced and highly qualified therapists apply a range of evidenced-based and best practice approaches.

Read more about refugee mental health services

The challenges facing people seeking asylum in the UK don’t end when they are granted refugee status. For many, this marks the beginning of a new crisis. They are given just 28 days to secure an income and find a place to live before they are evicted from the accommodation in which the government has placed them.

We provide crisis support and help to secure accommodation. And we ensure other basic needs are met by helping them access health services to improve their physical and mental health. To enable refugees to achieve long-term confidence and independence, we provide training to improve their English and other vocational skills or build on existing qualifications.

Read more about integration services


refugees and asylum seekers were helped by the Refugee Council last year

Support our work

Donate to Refugee Council's urgent Christmas appeal

Our research shows that 1 in 2 refugees have had to sleep rough, or in a homeless shelter. This year, because of the pressure on services due to Covid-19, the numbers could be higher. You can help. Donate this Christmas and help provide vital services for refugees in the UK with nowhere else to turn.

Show refugees in the UK that they are not alone