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Refugee Crisis - What can I do?

Hundreds of thousands of people have been moved to action by the recent refugee crisis and Sheffield’s citizens are leading the way with offers to help, donate and campaign.

If you would like to help, here are some of the ways to get involved.

You can:

If you’re not sure how best to help you can drop in to the Volunteer Centre Monday – Wednesday to talk to one of our advisors.



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Hosting a Syrian family

Sheffield will be taking ’10-15 families’ from refugee camps on the border of Syria and does not need volunteer hosts for this programme.
They will be supported and accommodated through the joint Sheffield City Council / Refugee Council Gateway Protection Programme.

ASSIST Sheffield runs a hosting scheme for destitute asylum seekers from all nations. The Syrian families will not need accommodation from volunteers so will not need ASSIST's support. Details of how to get involved with local organisations below.

Local organisations supporting asylum seekers and refugees.

There are a number local charities who support asylum seekers and refugees who are already living in Sheffield as well as victims of human trafficking.

These are ASSIST SheffieldCity of SanctuaryCity Hearts, Learn for Life, the Refugee CouncilRoshniSAVTE, the Snowdrop project and South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG)

These charities are currently overwhelmed by calls so please consider coming down to the volunteer centre or applying to volunteer through our website rather than phoning them directly. These charities mostly support people who are already in the country

Give your time 

Volunteer to help (Sheffield based roles)

When the above organisations need volunteers, they advertise through the Volunteer Centre Website. To see all their roles available in Sheffield at the moment, go to the Volunteer Centre Website and click Start volunteering.

You can filter roles by area of interest to just see the roles to help refugees. Select ‘Race, Ethnicity and Migration’ from the Area of interest list.
You can also type ‘Refugee’ in to the keyword box or the name of the organisation you are most interested in to see the roles available.

Visit the Volunteer Centre Drop in  Monday – Wednesday from 10-4

Come and talk to a volunteer Advisor at our Drop in. They can talk through what is available and how local charities would like people to support them.

Local charities supporting refugees are currently overwhelmed by calls so please consider coming down to see an advisor to help work out the best way you can get involved.

Also see International volunteering below.

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Give things:

For a list of what to take, see the Facebook / websites of the groups below.


Donations can be left at:


  • Sheffield City Council - Town Hall Reception drop off 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday
  • Endcliffe Park Café  Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
  • One Nation Community Centre, Leyburn Rd entrance S7 1FU – Monday, Wednesday and Friday 6:30PM – 8PM

Local projects supporting people overseas

Calais – People to People Solidarity – Action from Sheffield Group
Contact: Liam Seward
Not  in need of donations at present. Keep up-to-date with what to donate on
 Facebook  or Website

Sheffield Aid to Refugees 
Collecting items for refugees in Kos and Lesvos see their 
Facebook page

Project Paddington

Group set up to mobilise primary school children to send a teddy, a drawing of themselves and a short note to a refugee child. Upon registration, you will receive full information about how to run Project Paddington in your school or group, including our sponsorship page. Initially set up to send teddy bears to children of refugees; also accepting donations in co-operation with TEAR Fund. E-mail:
Sheffield Law School, The University of Sheffield have written an information sheet for children participating in Sheffield-based Project Paddington and their parents.


Sheffield Foodbanks:

Sheffield foodbanks are run by local volunteers across the city and many asylum seekers and refugees use their services. Support them by donating food or by volunteering. To find your nearest foodbank see the Sheffield Foodbank network page.

St. Vincent's Furniture Store Sheffield

Support homeless people to furnish properties when offered accommodation. They support lots of refugees and take referrals from refugee agencies.
They particularly need Single and Double beds. See their leaflet or website for more info on how to donate

Baby Basics
Baby Basics provides clothing, toiletries and equipment to families in need through midwives, health visitors and other front line agencies. Lots of things that come through Baby Basics go to people seeking asylum but not exclusively – we cannot guarantee that items donated will go to refugees but we can guarantee that they will go to families in need within Sheffield, many of whom will be seeking sanctuary in our city.

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Give Money:

You can see a number of international organisations who are responding to the refugee crisis at the end of this guide.

The following charities support vulnerable refugees and trafficked people. They are generally supporting people who are already living in Sheffield and not those who are in Calais or in refugee camps but are in need of funds to support their long term work in Sheffield.

Local Charities working with refugees and asylum seekers in Sheffield

ASSIST Sheffield - Supports destitute asylum seekers

City Hearts - Supports victims of human trafficking

City of Sanctuary - Welcoming and signposting new arrivals, awareness raising

Snowdrop - Supports victims of human trafficking

Roshni - Supports women with no recourse to public funds

South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group (SYMAAG) - Campaigning and awareness raising

Refugee Council - They will support the Syrian families as part of the government's programme.

Local groups supporting people in refugee camps

Calais – People to People Solidarity – Action from Sheffield Group

Fundraising campaign  - Distribution of aid to the Calais migrants

Bizzy Bags for Syrian Refugee Children

Fundraising campaign - 'Bizzy Bags' which will contain a puzzle book, crayons, jigsaw etc. to send to the various camps in Greece and Calais.

Sheffield Aid to Refugees

To raise funds to transport items to refugees in Kos and Lesvos Facebook group

Project Paddington - Set up in Sheffield, working through schools nationally. Tearfund processes donations

CalAid also have details of what is most needed


See also international organistions to donate to.

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National and international volunteering roles:

● International Rescue Committee: US-based charity with opportunities to volunteer around the world including mentoring refugee families and helping them find jobs

● Refugee council: looking for Therapeutic Casework Volunteers in to support their assessments, casework and referrals to asylum seekers and refugees presenting mental wellbeing needs

● Citizens UK: a scheme where people can volunteer as much of their time or resources as they want, but especially to lobby local councils on behalf of refugees

● <a href=">Calais Migrant Solidarity</a>: organising aid from the UK to those stranded in Calais. Includes details to find local groups for clothes collections and donations <a data-cke-saved-href=" https:="""" kwkq7y"="">here and a UK-based Facebook group

● Doctors of the World: providing care to vulnerable people, advocating for rights to health

● Music Against Borders: appealing for people to donate musical instruments to Calais

● The Jungle Library: makeshift library set up at the camp at Calais. They need more books

● 'Childhood bags': fundraising to take books, toys and warm clothes to children

● Folkestone United: organising protests, taking donated goods to Calais in September

● lobbying local councils, providing language support, housing refugees

● Migrant Offshore Aid Station: dedicated to preventing loss of life at sea

● Sawa for development and aid: working with Syrian refugees in Lebanon

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National and international groups to donate to:

Make a financial donation to a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that is doing related humanitarian work overseas. These could include:

● Save the Children: distributing essential items such as nappies, hygiene kits and food

● Red Cross Europe: providing emergency health services at central train stations

● Migrant Offshore Aid Station: dedicated to preventing migrant deaths at sea

● International Rescue Committee:  improving living conditions by setting up camps

● The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR): providing water, mosquito nets, tents, healthcare

● Refugee Action: advice about claiming asylum, the asylum process, asylum support

● World Vision: providing food, water, shelter, education and psychosocial care

● Médecins Sans Frontières: humanitarian agency which has three rescue ships in the Mediterranean

● Aylan Kurdi Fund: named in honour of the drowned child and set up within 24 hours of the horrific pictures circulating around the world. All proceeds are going to charity Hand In Hand For Syria

● Asylum Aid: provides free legal advice and representation to refugees and asylum-seekers seeking safety in the UK from persecution. They also campaign for the fair treatment of refugees in the UK

● The Aire Centre: provides information and advice throughout Europe on international human rights law, including the rights of individuals under the provisions of European Community Law

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