Westminster has a rich history and tradition of tolerance and providing help and a warm welcome to those most in need from all corners of the world. We are proud of, but not surprised by, the generous response from Westminster’s residents to the plight of the many thousands of refugees in desperate need.
Westminster will do all that it can to support central government, the Mayor’s office and London Councils with the current refugee crisis.
Find out more about the UK Government’s response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis
Here is a guide about some of the ways that you can help.
To donate money
If you wish to donate to a registered charity, there are a number of non-governmental organisations and charities that have specifically opened appeals to help the refugees both in the Mediterranean and across Europe. Some of those include:
- Refugee Council: £30 could provide breakfast and lunch to a refugee family for more than a week.
- Save the Children: A donation of £50 could buy two hygiene kits for a Syrian family.
- Migrant Offshore Aid Station: The charity provides assistance to migrants who find themselves in distress while crossing the Mediterranean Sea in unsafe vessels
- Aylan Kurdi Fund: A fund set up in the name of the drowned boy after the photograph circulated media. All proceeds go to the humanitarian agency Hand in Hand for Syria.
- Unicef: A donation of £9 could provide an emergency water kit. The UN’s children’s charity also provides life-saving supplies such as clean water, medicine and psychological support.
- British Red Cross: A donation of £60 could provide 16 thermal blankets for those in need.
To donate much needed items
It is not only cash that can help.
- The crowd funded campaign Calais Compassion is urging supporters to donate in any way they can. It has put together a list of needed items and will be running a drop-off centre for items in Wimpole Street, Marylebone later this month on 17th and 19th September. They will then be taking the items to Calais in October.
- A Facebook group Music Against Borders is looking for musical instruments for migrant musicians in Calais.
- Refugee Action is offering to take old cars as donations. It says the last scrap car it took raised £126 for refugees. It is also looking for old mobile phones and even printer cartridges.
We have also had a number of requests from residents wishing to offer up their spare rooms in order to take in Syrian children and/or families. We are awaiting details from Central Government and our local government partners on how private individuals can support the housing of refugees.
Looking after young children
Westminster City Council accepts the responsibility of safeguarding and protecting child welfare, including that of refugee children. For safeguarding reasons we will obviously only be using registered foster carers to provide support for refugee children. Find out more about becoming a foster carer.