Refugees at Home is a UK based charity aiming to connect those with a spare room in their home with asylum seekers and refugees in need of accommodation.

Please get in touch if you are interested and want to know more, would like to offer to host, or want to find a place to stay.

The number of people we have put in a bed for a night rather than leave them on a park bench or night bus:

(If you just see the word "Rows: 1", please tap on it to reveal.)


What we do

Since we started up in October 2015 we have made over 425 placements.


To find out more about how Refugees at Home works, please read our FAQ


 

Here are some of the ways that you can get involved.

Hosting

Refugees At Home is looking for volunteer hosts who would welcome an asylum-seeker or refugee into their homes. All you need is a spare room and a generous spirit.

Hosting

Home visitors

If you are or have been a social worker, health visitor, district nurse, mental health practitioner or similar, might you be willing to visit potential hosts in your area? Or do you know someone who might do this?

Home Visiting

Guests

If you are a refugee or asylum-seeker in UK (or know someone) who is in need of a home, we may be able to connect you with someone offering a place to stay.


Enquiries

Stories

Here's some of our news

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Travers Smith receive more recognition for work with us

Posted on Sunday 27th November, 2016

Travers Smith, who do so much to support us with legal advice and administration, have won another prestigious award, the Legal Week 2016 CSR/Diversity Initiative of the Year. We couldn’t manage without them and we are delighted that they get recognition for their work. Congratulations to them.

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Oldest and Youngest Hosts Meet

Posted on Monday 24th October, 2016

At the first meeting of our newly formed Kingston hub, our oldest host (aged 94) meets our youngest host (aged 19). Such wonderful people.

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Travers Smith’s work for Refugees at Home wins top pro bono award

Posted on Saturday 15th October, 2016

Travers Smith LLP is delighted to have won the ‘Law in the Community/Pro Bono Award’ category at the 2016 Halsbury Legal Awards for its work supporting Refugees at Home. Refugees at Home first came to Travers Smith as a group of individuals and has, with the firm’s help, become a charitable organisation that connects those with a spare room in their home with asylum seekers and refugees in need of accommodation.

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The Refugees At Home team

Posted on Saturday 3rd September, 2016

… met up with prospective hosts at Cargo at the Arcola Theatre, London in July 2016. Look out for more opportunities to meet the team…  

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Working Together

Posted on Saturday 3rd September, 2016

We are now full members of NACCOM – the network of hosting groups in the UK. We work with Housing Justice as part of London Hosting Network.

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Surrey Hub

Posted on Saturday 3rd September, 2016

Our first “hubs” are up and running in Surrey and West London, and we are hoping to roll them out wherever we have a group of hosts in one area. This is what we are saying about them: New hosts often ask about the support they might expect from Refugees At Home. Each one of course has a Home Visitor. But we thought a sort of support group – or area hub – might be an asset. It should also help guests feel less isolated. Once there are two hosts with guests in an area, we can connect them with each other and suggest that one might like to invite the other over so that they and their guests can meet.

Testimonials

Here's what some of our hosts and guests have said about Refugees at Home

EB – Host

Posted on Tuesday 21st March, 2017

I think your service is wonderful! 🙂

H, Guest

Posted on Thursday 9th March, 2017

Hello I have met T█████ and H█████ , I am at their home . They are lovley and nice . I just want to say for you thank you . You are really amazing group .

P, host, London

Posted on Wednesday 8th March, 2017

To anyone thinking about hosting…..I have had guests in my spare room since August. I cannot imagine life without a guest. Go for it!

JS, host

Posted on Thursday 2nd March, 2017

I am endlessly blown away by what an impressive outfit Refugees at Home is and it’s hard to believe the organisation is so new given all that you do.

L referrer, London

Posted on Monday 20th February, 2017

….it was such a huge relief to come across your organisation and then to find you so efficient and willing to help…When H reported back how kind and hospitable K had been and what a ‘beautiful family’ they were, I finally felt I could relax again…Refugees at Home is such a great idea…Keep up the good work!

L, referrer, London

Posted on Saturday 18th February, 2017

J – he is so very happy and relieved to be safe and staying with such lovely people as A and D are. I had been meaning to write to you and not yet got to it, so this is to thank you very much indeed, it’s literally life-changing for J.

L, referrer, London

Posted on Thursday 16th February, 2017

To everyone who helped finding a place to stay for M, Thank you thank you thank you a million times. We went to his new house today as he will spend his first night there and everything was perfect. A and I could not have been better hosts and they made M feel so comfortable and at home. The house is beautiful and Mohammed’s room so big and cosy. I really cannot say thank you enough for this and am truly impressed by your organisation ! It is so great and helpful.

Patrick, referrer, Cardiff

Posted on Tuesday 14th February, 2017

Just a quick note to say thanks for finding the wonderful J. He’s an amazing host and has taken on supporting A – which releases us to do other stuff. A is feeling much more stable and positive as a result of our work.

L, Home Visitor

Posted on Friday 10th February, 2017

To receive your email and find that both my hosts have guests makes me feel like I am making a small difference – thank you. Thank you to the R@H team for supporting home assessors, hosts and guests. Keep going please and look after yourselves. Somewhere scared parents and families are grateful for you all.

Thank you from a Sudanese guest

Posted on Wednesday 8th February, 2017

As you said in your first reply to my inquiry email , you said that ” will do our best to help”! Your best was so quick & positive that you connected me with the family in Finchely. They invited me for dinner last Monday evening, so as to know each other. To be honest with you, it was a warm welcome, tasty dinner & a friendly easy chat & my impression was a fine fantastic couple. Not in my wildest dreams, I thought that one day I will be hosted by a generous & kind couple. Hopefully I will be moving with them next Monday the 20th inshallah. I would like to assure you that, I will do my best to reflect a good image about the refugees in general & specifically the fine Sudanese personality. On behalf on my family (Whom they are back home in […]

B, our youngest host

Posted on Sunday 1st January, 2017

It has been exactly one year since I made the decision to host. I remember it well, New Years Eve 2015 I spent my evening reading news articles about the refugees drowning in the Med trying to reach safety and I thought I just had to do something… I had a spare room (although at the time it didn’t have a bed, just all my odds and ends) and I thought maybe I could offer it to refugees and asylum seekers who didn’t have anywhere to stay. It was very difficult to find an organisation at the time but finally I came across Refugees at Home (who were called something else back then), and I applied. After doing that I immediately went online to Argos and bought a bed, mattress, duvet, pillows and bedding and I told myself I was going to do this! I will admit at […]

G, Home Visitor

Posted on Sunday 18th December, 2016

This home visiting is like being part of a glorious humanitarian dating agency!

S, guest.

Posted on Wednesday 14th December, 2016

I moved at C’s place on Monday. She and her family are lovely. I feel so safe and comfortable here. Am truly grateful to you for your help in bringing me to a safe shelter. Wish you and your team a wonderful festive season 🙂

Mrs AB, Host, Croydon, Surrey

Posted on Sunday 4th December, 2016

We’ve hosted since April and I’d recommend it to anyone! Guests and hosts quickly become like family and we have lots of laughs – chatting about cultural differences and cooking food for each other to try. I know if it was me in their shoes and in their country that I’d want to be helped by a wonderful community like we have in Refugees at Home.

Jodie & Mark, hosts, North London

Posted on Sunday 4th December, 2016

We host emergency guests and, in doing so, get to meet a brilliant and eclectic mix of people from all walks of life, many from unfathomable hardship. Our guests are invariably polite, grateful and interesting which means that we are able, even with our limited means, to feel like we are making a difference.

Mr AM, guest, London

Posted on Saturday 3rd December, 2016

I stay with very nice family for five months in Dorking they make me feel like I am among my family they offer the most help they can and support I feel very thankful for them ,

Ms S, host, Stockport Manchester

Posted on Saturday 3rd December, 2016

R@H approach their task with great understanding and professionalism, so that hosting is successful and immensely rewarding as a result. We can help our guests start to find their feet, but if they were able to travel without having to spend much of their funds on it, their ability to become full members of society would be hugely improved.

Mr H, guest, Home Counties

Posted on Saturday 3rd December, 2016

Through my own experience as a guest “R@H” was and still an one of the best foster and supporter for the vulnerable refugees who were or became homless at their life’s start here in the UK.They are alleviating a big part of the suffering that the homeless refugees are exposed to. I would like to say a huge thanks for such a wonderful huminiterian work, yes! “R@H and your hosts” were literally my second family here in the UK. Wish you all the best and success in such wonderful work…

Mr A, guest, High Wycombe

Posted on Saturday 3rd December, 2016

Refugees at home made a difference in my new life in the U.K. They provided me with a roof, a kind and welcoming family and through them I was able to get into education and start my Masters.

Ms M, host, Kingston, Surrey

Posted on Saturday 3rd December, 2016

The whole process of hosting was professionally managed by Refugees at Home – communication is clear and the home visit very encouraging. Guests and hosts are really well supported within a caring community.

 

Media

We've been featured on the BBC TV and Radio 4, and across the press and social media

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Taking in refugee is like having a friend round, says peer

Posted on Saturday 11th March, 2017

When Lord Bassam of Brighton and his wife agreed to take in a Syrian refugee as a lodger last year they braced themselves for culture clashes and misunderstandings. But after the arrival of Riam, a 28-year-old student, their biggest problem was a little more prosaic: she didn’t like cats — and the Labour peer has two British blues, Toby and Parker. Their other main challenge was dietary as Riam is vegetarian. “We’ve done more nut roasts than we might otherwise have,” the peer said. Lord Bassam, 63, is shadow chief whip in the upper chamber and the most senior British politician known to have offered a spare room to a Syrian refugee. Although he does “not want a big fuss” made about the invitation and stresses his respect for his guest’s privacy, he agreed to speak about the “positive” experience he and his wife, Jill, have had to […]

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SENEGALESE DOCTOR FLEEING PERSECUTION FOR HELPING AIDS VICTIMS FINDS REFUGE WITH BERMONDSEY COUPLE

Posted on Thursday 2nd March, 2017

While the couple felt nervous at the beginning, they got plenty of support from a Refugees at Home home visitor A Bermondsey couple is one of just two households in Southwark to open their doors to homeless asylum seekers and refugees, writes Kirsty Purnell… Amy Stringer and Daniel Haimovich have been sharing their home with a Senegalese doctor fleeing persecution for the past three weeks. The couple felt compelled to help after seeing an article about the Refugees at Home (RaH) scheme, which links up hosts with refugees and asylum seeker guests, in a national paper last November. “I’d heard about schemes like this in general for a while but when I read about RaH I just thought – we have to do this,” said Amy, 29, a social worker. “It’s an issue that is really close to my heart.” It’s something that’s just so easy for us […]

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Creating an Airbnb for refugees is more complicated than it sounds

Posted on Saturday 18th February, 2017

Activists welcome Airbnb’s commitment to house 100,000 refugees, but they say finding the right hosts will take more than an algorithm After President Donald Trump halted the flow of refugees coming into the US through an executive order last month, Airbnb came out with a strong response: the home-sharing startup committed to providing free short-term housing for 100,000 refugees and other displaced people over the next five years. Airbnb has begun asking volunteers to open their homes to refugees in need, and it says it will subsidize costs in cases where no hosts offer their properties for free. The program has drawn praise from refugee advocates, and it generated plenty of positive publicity for Airbnb. The company branded its campaign under the #WeAccept hashtag, and it put together a Super Bowl commercial that promoted diversity and acceptance. It seems to have had an early impact, as well; an […]

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Baking, bikes and beds help ease trauma for refugees

Posted on Saturday 18th February, 2017

The government has abandoned thousands of child refugees who had hoped to find sanctuary in Britain. While Amber Rudd, the home secretary, was closing the door on the so-called Dubs children, however, a loose network of volunteers and small charities has been working to assist them and refugees who are already in Britain. Many volunteers, inspired by their time as unpaid aid workers in the Calais Jungle, have helped to set up schemes enabling refugees to make a new life in Britain. The projects include a trauma centre in East Sussex, an educational charity for women in Birmingham, free bicycles for asylum seekers in London and bread-baking courses to help refugee women integrate into the workplace. All have been set up by volunteers who filled a gap left by mainstream charities struggling to help with the refugee crisis. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was among those who […]

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What every home needs: a smiling refugee

Posted on Saturday 11th February, 2017

With my girls away at university I opened my house to a young man from Darfur, and it’s changed my life as much as his. Over Christmas I read in a newspaper about an organisation called Refugees at Home, which places homeless refugees with host families. Since I was feeling seasonably charitable and I rattle around the house when my daughters are away at university, I got in touch with them. They sent a nice woman round to inspect us. The main thing she wanted to find out was whether everybody in the household was keen on having a refugee: there had, it seemed, been a few cases of a wife inviting the tired, the poor and the huddled masses into the family home and failing to inform her husband that he was going to be staring at them over the marmalade at breakfast-time. Since I was keen, […]

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Posted on Wednesday 1st February, 2017

A piece on our guest Karim getting family reunification and a flat in Elmbridge.

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Sky News at Christmas

Posted on Monday 26th December, 2016

Real Christmas spirit: Meet those who open their homes to refugees

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Leafy Surrey town opens its homes to refugees

Posted on Saturday 24th December, 2016

Leafy Surrey town opens its homes to refugees Dorking residents inspired to life-changing response to migration crisis “If they ask, say you’re my nephew,” Constance Nash advised the young Syrian man staying with her, in case he encountered an unfriendly neighbour. Ms Nash has a lot of foreign guests this year at her home in Dorking, a leafy town in the Surrey hills about an hour’s train ride south of London. First came the Eritrean woman who was 28 weeks pregnant and then the wounded Syrian soldier and his Congolese friend, who had been sleeping rough. Then there were the Syrian and Sudanese teenagers. “They said they came on the train,” Ms Nash said. “Not in the train, on the train.” There was George from Ghana and Jean from the Congo and the Zimbabwean and Sudanese, and Ahmad, a soft-spoken pharmacist from Aleppo who stayed for five months. […]

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BBC SE Today

Posted on Saturday 3rd December, 2016

A mostly sympathetic article on BBC SE Today on 2/12/2016, somewhat marred by the MP telling us that refugees are definitively not welcome.  

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British Volunteer Hosts Welcome Refugees Into Their Homes and Lives

Posted on Thursday 10th November, 2016

Amid a hostile climate for refugees in the U.K., ordinary citizens are plugging gaps in the asylum system. Judith Vonberg reports on Refugees at Home, a volunteer initiative connecting Britons offering spare rooms with asylum seekers desperately in need of a bed. LONDON – The Zig Zag cafe is nestled between an art shop and a beauty salon on the main street in Epsom, an affluent market town 30 minutes by train from central London. This small and unassuming cafe has become a social hub for the local community of hosts and their refugee or asylum-seeking guests. As the hosts and guests arrive, Mike, who runs the cafe, starts pushing tables together and pulling up extra chairs. He’s well used to the routine. Each newcomer is treated to a beaming smile and a warm “hello.” Some guests stay just for a coffee; others linger over one of Mike’s […]

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Refugees at Home on BBC Exodus Programme

Posted on Wednesday 26th October, 2016

Ahmad was one of Refugees At Home’s very first guests. He was later featured in BBC TV’s series Exodus. This clip shows him and his host, Nina Kaye, in her house, and later being reunited with his family.

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Article in Community Practitioner

Posted on Wednesday 19th October, 2016

A wonderful article in Community Practitioner telling health visitors, school nurses, community nursery nurses and other healthcare professionals working in community settings about us and how they can help with the refugee crisis, giving some real case studies of three people who decided they could help. Download PDF

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MIT Tech Review

Posted on Saturday 3rd September, 2016

(Mid East) featured us in an article about projects like ours across Europe, “Housing Platforms for Refugees à la AirBnB”