Refugee Week

Refugee Week is a worldwide event that takes place every year around the UN’s World Refugee Day on 20 June.

In the UK, it’s an opportunity for people to experience the rich diversity of our refugee communities through theatre, music, dance, film and other events – and to celebrate the positive contribution refugees make to our society.

What it's all about

Refugee Week takes place between 17-23 June this year. In the UK, it’s a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and other events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to our society, and encourages better understanding between communities.

Refugee Week started in 1998 as a direct reaction to hostility in the media and society in general towards refugees and asylum seekers. An established part of the UK’s cultural calendar, Refugee Week is now one of the leading national initiatives working to counter this negative climate, defending the importance of sanctuary and the benefits it can bring to both refugees and host communities.

Since its inception, the Ration Challenge has always been held in Refugee Week.

The aims of Refugee Week are:

  • To encourage a diverse range of events to be held throughout the UK, which facilitate positive encounters between refugees and the general public in order to encourage greater understanding and overcome hostility
  • To showcase the talent and expertise that refugees bring with them to the UK
  • To explore new and creative ways of addressing the relevant issues and reach beyond the refugee sector
  • To provide information which educates and raises awareness of the reality of refugee experiences

Read more about Refugee Week


The theme of Refugee Week 2019, ‘You, me and those who came before’, is an invitation to explore the lives of refugees – and those who have welcomed them – throughout the generations.

People escaping war and persecution have been welcomed by communities in the UK for hundreds of years, and their stories and contributions are all around us. From the Jewish refugees of the 1930s to people fleeing Vietnam in the 1970s, Kosovans in the 1990s to those arriving today; they are part of who we all are.

Refugee Week gives us an opportunity to do something positive. That’s why we think it’s a great time to do the Ration Challenge! Once again this year, the Ration Challenge community will be working together to change hearts and minds at home, and raise vital funds to support refugees and other vulnerable communities overseas.

Why not join us today?