Our Key Resources this Refugee Week

To mark Refugee Week 2024, we have collated stories of learners themselves about the impact of effective education and language support. We have also curated some of our key resources for supporting learners who are refugees or seeking asylum, alongside some of the resources and initiatives available from our partner organisations.

Portrait of Shir Mohammad, an Afghan refugee, whilst being interviewed by The Bell Foundation.
Language is a key. If you can speak in one language, you have just one key. If you can more than one language, you have several keys to open the good ways in your life... [Learning] English changed our lives. Shir Mohammad – Security guard, father, and refugee from Afghanistan

It is Refugee Week and the theme this year is “our home”. Schools and other educational settings are central in providing a warm welcome to new arrivals, creating safe and inclusive environments, and providing the skills needed to unlock education, employment, and social opportunities.

To mark this annual event, we have collated stories of learners themselves about the impact of effective education and language support. We have also curated some of our key resources for supporting learners who are refugees or seeking asylum, alongside some of the resources and initiatives available from our partner organisations. 

Explore our interactive story Learning English: The Difference it Made for Me

Did you know that in England and Wales, 5.1 million people speak English as a Second or Additional Language? Recent Census data from 2021 reveals that over 1 million individuals struggle with English proficiency, with over a third being UK citizens. Attending ESOL classes can be transformative and life-changing, yet many face barriers to accessing suitable or sufficient provision.  

Discover the stories of those who have overcome obstacles to learn English through ESOL classes with resilience and determination, and have reaped the benefits. 

REUK Mentee Perspectives: Empowering Young Voices

Resilience, courage, and hopefulness characterises AbdulGhani, Angel, and Sam, three mentees participating in the Educational Mentoring Programme at Refugee Education UK (REUK). They were each paired with a volunteer mentor from the community who provided support with their well-being, academic studies, and English language skills. Despite numerous setbacks and challenges they faced on their arrival in the UK, through the mentorship they found a welcoming space, a guiding conversation, and a sense of belonging.  

We had the opportunity to talk with three mentees about their experiences.

Other free support

  • Schools of Sanctuary - Are you looking for a free audit tool to help you evaluate your school's provision for refugees and asylum seekers? Take a look at how to become a School of Sanctuary…
  • Jacari - organisation providing free English language support to refugee and migrant children in Bristol and Oxford. They work with our partners and match volunteers to an EAL pupil, who they support weekly during term-time.
  • Young Roots - a London-based charity which supports young refugees and asylum seekers, aged 11-25, to improve their well-being and fulfil their potential, including through the provision of English language mentoring.
  • North East Solidarity and Teaching - a student-led volunteer project which supports roughly 700 refugees and asylum seekers each year with the help of student volunteers, delivering over 25 sessions each week including ones on teaching English.
  • Upbeat Communities - an organisation supporting refugees and asylum seekers, primarily in Derby, with a range of services and support including a variety of English language classes.