A march along Mill Road supporting refugees and asylum seekers in Cambridge, with a large sign leaning against a wall that says 'Refugees welcome'. Photo copyright Chris Cellier Photography www.chriscellier.com and used with permission.

News and events

The Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign arranges and participates in a range of activities through the year, and of course there is regularly news that relates to our activities. This page lists some of these news items and events. If you hear of something you think we should know, please do get in touch!

Refugee Week 2022

Refugee Week is approaching and we’re getting more details about the events being organised in and around Cambridge. Here’s a list of some events happening around Refugee Week this year, and there are also details at Cambridge City of Sanctuary. 10 June: Resettle Chesterton Ceilidh 17 June: Norfolk Schools of...


June 09, 2022
    From: Jun 20
    To: Jun 29

Laptops4Learning successes

The Laptops4Learning campaign is working! We expect around 1500 Ukrainian refugees in the Cambridge area, most of whom need phones and SIM cards, and many also laptops. In only a few short weeks, Laptops4Learning have already got their first laptops to some of those who need them. But we still...


May 22, 2022

Old laptops from your business? (UPDATED)

Do you or your friends work for large businesses which upgrade their IT on a regular basis (ARM, Cambridge Assessment, Marshalls Aerospace, Addenbrookes, etc)? We are looking for contacts in Cambridge businesses to ask if they would let us have their old technology. This saves them having to dispose of...


May 16, 2022

Annual report for 2021

You can now download (1.7 MB PDF file) our full annual report for the year to June 2021, browse it online at Issuu, or just read some of what we were up to below. We could not carry out our work without the tremendous contributions of our many volunteers and...


May 11, 2022

Information for Ukrainian refugees in Cambridge and their hosts

If you want to help Ukrainian refugees, please donate to aid groups such as Hope and Aid Direct or the International Red Cross. Please do not collect material aid unless you have personal connections with a group in the region which has requested this. Please also sign the petition asking...


May 10, 2022

Notes on the Homes for Ukraine scheme

We have compiled a list of ‘recommended’ agencies for people struggling to find Ukrainians to sponsor. We don’t know much about most of them, but hopefully this will be better resource than dodgy Facebook groups, which can be very unsafe for both parties. Please note that, while all these charities...


April 14, 2022

Refugee Week 2022 early notice

Refugee week is approaching as it does every year. This year, it’s 20-26 June and, although it’s still a way off, we’re getting our first announcements of events. On Friday 17 June, Norfolk Schools of Sanctuary are organising a Day of Welcome - a day of solidarity and learning in...


April 08, 2022
    On: Jun 17

Ukraine refugee sponsorship scheme

The UK Government has announced a scheme by which UK residents can sponsor Ukrainian refugees and provide a home. Details are sparse at best at this stage around important details like how sponsors will be vetted (guests will be traumatised women and children, so being a sponsor and host is...


March 15, 2022

Refugee socials

After successful socials in September and October, we’ve sadly had to take the decision to pause these socials again because of changes in Covid safety in recent weeks. Indoor events are simply not safe, especially when we have so many elderly volunteers and can’t be sure of people’s vaccination status....


November 30, 2021

Afghan update

There are three Afghan families resettled in the Cambridge area so far, with another four expected before Christmas. They are being very well supported with friendship and donations of clothing and furniture by their local community, and visited regularly by CRRC volunteers. CRRC is working to ensure a smooth entry...


November 29, 2021

Doula service

A doula is a birth attendant: a non-medical but trained person of support who can accompany the expectant mum to medical appointments and be a birth partner, if desired. They can explain and offer support to navigate the antenatal and postnatal system as it exists currently in Cambridge. This is...


November 05, 2021

Together with Refugees against the Nationality and Borders Bill

The Refugee Council, Safe Passage, JCWI and others in the Together With Refugees Coalition organised a week of action from the 18th to the 24th of October. This included a rally outside the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 20th and celebrations to welcome Good Chance Theatre Company’s giant puppet Little...


November 04, 2021

Refugee socials begin again

September saw our first refugee social for a year and a half. We were all excited to see everyone again, and both the September and October socials were very popular. To comply with the school’s new Covid precautions, these were held outside but the weather was fabulous on both occasions....


November 03, 2021

Bowling and Bank Holiday Bargain-Hunting

After the successful trip to Hunstanton at the end of July, the Activities Team booked an afternoon of ten-pin bowling at the Cambridge Leisure Centre, which proved very popular with some of the dads, able to showcase their bowling expertise for the children. The Coton Village Fair on Bank Holiday...


November 02, 2021

More talented teens!

The talented teens in our beneficiary families continue to impress with their achievements. In September, Hawra and Ameera won a national teen business and social enterprise award to develop their idea of a website that provides peer-to-peer advice for young refugees like themselves. Inspired by the welcome they received in...


November 01, 2021

Public meeting with Cambridge City Council

A public meeting was held yesterday between CRRC, Cambridge City Council and other charities and agencies, to provide information on the current situation regardingthe resettlement of Afghan refugees and volunteering opportunities. About this event This meeting was to introduce people who want to help refugees in the local area to...


September 17, 2021


The resettlement of refugees from Afghanistan is at an early stage. Afghans brought to the UK are initially being quarantined and accommodated in hotels until permanent accommodation can be found through local authorities. Work is starting to identify housing in our area that could be used to accommodate some of...


August 27, 2021

New family arrived

The new UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS) has finally been started after delays attributed to the pandemic. The first new family arrived in Cambridge at the beginning of August and, after completing quarantine, they are settling in and exploring their new home.


August 15, 2021

Together with Refugees against the Nationality and Borders Bill

The Nationality and Borders Bill, which seeks to overhaul the asylum system, making it even more difficult for people to settle here, had its second reading at the end of July. Disappointingly, it passed by over 100 votes but the fight goes on. The Bill moves to the committee stage...


August 14, 2021

Trustee news

This month we welcomed a new member of our Board of Trustees. Many volunteers will already have met Marya, as she acts as a family focal point and, together with her husband Shwan, has been very active in supporting refugee families. Marya herself is a refugee from Kurdistan, who was...


August 13, 2021

Bike project update

The Bike Project, our partner charity in South London, delivered 26 refurbished bikes to the families on 5th August and a further 15 the following week. We are very grateful to Amanda (pictured, with Lavri and his new bike) for setting this up, also for driving an hour and a...


August 12, 2021

Summer holiday programme resumes

With a dynamic and efficient new activities team and funding from Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, the summer holiday programme got off to a successful start with a day trip to Hunstanton on 31 July. Two coaches left from the Backs at 9am with 70 family members and 8 volunteers. Leaving cloudy...


August 11, 2021

Hurray for Hend!

We were absolutely delighted to hear from Hend’s family that she had been awarded the 2021 Hunt-Hereward Trophy for courage and loyalty by Soham Village College. This is a wonderful achievement as only three annual cups are awarded by the school, which Hend joined three and a half years ago...


August 10, 2021

Socials are back!

We are very excited to announce that we will be resuming regular volunteer socials on the fourth Wednesday of each month at the Maypole on Portugal Place. The next one will be next Wednesday 24th June, from 7.30pm. Please let us know by email to admin at cambridgerefugees.org if you...


June 18, 2021
    On: Jun 23

Arabic Language and Culture Workshop

The University of Cambridge Centre of Islamic Studies is offering CRRC volunteers and their friends the opportunity, as part of Refugee Week, to take part in a workshop entitled An Introduction to Arabic Language and Culture. This will be a virtual event on 18 June, starting at 1pm and lasting...


May 26, 2021
    On: Jun 18

Refugees in Museums

This Fitzwilliam Museum Virtual Talk, organised as part of Refugee Week at 1.30pm on 17 June, centres around the theme of migration and the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. The event follows a special display by contemporary artist Issam Kourbaj, currently on view at the Fitzwilliam Museum until September 6,...


May 26, 2021
    On: Jun 17

Creative Workshop with Leila Mehulić

Art historian and curator Leila Mehulić is running an online creative workshop 2:00 to 3:30pm on 17 June. Exploring themes of objects and memories, participants will consider items from the Higgins Bedford museum’s collection as well as objects associated with journeys from their own homelands. Booking required. For more information,...


May 26, 2021
    On: Jun 17

Gil Loescher Book Launch

Professor Gil Loescher’s last work, Refugees: A Very Short Introduction, will be launched on 27 May. Published by Oxford University Press, Professor Loescher dedicated a chapter of his book to the work of civil society organisations, inspired by conversations with his daughter Maggie, who is a founder member of CRRC....


May 26, 2021
    On: May 27

Walking Together

On Tuesday 15 June at 7.30pm, a special blended virtual and real world meeting on this year’s Refugee Week theme of ‘We cannot walk alone’. Come and hear the journeys of asylum seekers, refugees and Quaker Friends walking alongside one another: Sharing experiences, creating memories, the stories of people’s lives...


May 25, 2021
    On: Jun 15

Cook along with Faraj!

After the very successful ‘Cook along with Faraj’ event, Faraj has agreed to do it again! We’re not the only ones who were impressed by Faraj: ITV were, too! Faraj is a fantastic cook who’s trained at Ottolenghi and at Honey & Co. He’s also a Syrian refugee who came...


May 25, 2021
    On: Jun 09

Bike project update

A side effect of the pandemic is that there are huge global supply problems. New bikes are very difficult to buy at the moment and, as a result, secondhand bikes have dramatically increased in price. However, Amanda, our Bike Project coordinator (on the left in the first picture, with Lavri...


May 20, 2021

New Plan for Immigration

CRRC trustees have been campaigning over the past month to encourage everyone who cares about refugees to take part in this Government’s public consultation on Priti Patel’s New Plan for Immigration. We held a joint webinar on 22 April with CamCRAG and SolidariTee (right: Alexa Netty, Executive Director of SolidariTee,...


May 15, 2021

CRRC joins Together With Refugees

Together With Refugees Today, we join a new coalition of more than 100 national, local, refugee-led and grassroots groups to launch Together With Refugees. We believe in showing compassion to people fleeing war, persecution or violence. Together, we are calling for a better approach to supporting refugees that is kinder,...


May 10, 2021

Annual report for 2020

You can now read our full annual report for the year to June 2020 (1.6 MB PDF file). Here’s some of what we were up to. The emphasis of CRRC’s work, as envisaged and intended, focussed on developing ways to provide personal and professional development opportunities and employment support. English...


May 02, 2021

Cook along with Faraj!

Faraj is a fantastic cook who’s trained at Ottolenghi and at Honey & Co. He’s also a Syrian refugee who came to Cambridge 5 years ago, and now has his own catering business.On the 7th of April, he’s sharing some of his love of cookery in an evening of cooking...


March 22, 2021
    On: Apr 07

Leave Home, Save Lives Online Exhibition

Renowned photographer Rankin and London refugee charity Breaking Barriers have together created an online exhibition telling the stories of seven key workers from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds. The exhibition runs from 25th January to the 31st of May this year, and is available online here.


February 14, 2021
    From: Jan 26
    To: May 31

Home Learning

CRRC has provided some secondary school pupils with scientific calculators, and others with chrome book laptops and new and second hand phones. Further IT resources are being researched, purchased and distributed to help meet children’s educational needs and a volunteer able to provide appropriate training is being sought.  


February 09, 2021

Supporting new arrivals

The two new families who arrived on Family Reunion visas in October have been settling in well. The family support group, notably Amy and Vicky, have been very busy sourcing bikes, televisions, furniture, bedding and kitchen equipment. Thank you to all those who donated or offered items. Dan, Adrian and...


February 07, 2021

Kalamna Arabic Classes Term Report

All the children taking the Kalamna Arabic classes will be moving up a grade this term. The more advanced learners are already tackling GCSE preparation grammar resources and learning to discuss topics such as family, jobs and food. The beginners have begun to be able to read and write short...


February 05, 2021

Cambridge Must Act! Update

If lockdown has been hard in the UK, it has been far worse for displaced people living in temporary camps in Greece, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Living conditions are cramped and unhygienic at the best of times, with little access to clean water, power and medical facilities. On Lesvos, the...


February 02, 2021

Recent kind gifts

We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Synaptics, a ‘Silicon Fen’ chip-design company based on the Trinity Science Park, which has generously donated 25 newly cleaned computers for the refugee families to use. These were collected by our new IT coordinator, Paula. The Trustees would like to thank...


February 01, 2021

PSHE Day at Comberton

CRRC Trustees Sue Spencer, Dan Ellis and Catharine Walston were invited to introduce our workshop on refugees and resettlement to Year 10s at Comberton Village College in early December. Despite the time constraints, the workshop ran smoothly and the students engaged well with the subject. Best of all, the staff...


January 15, 2021

Cambridge Must Act!

The Cambridge Must Act campaign, supported by CRRC and other local groups, met with a sympathetic audience at the Cambridge City Council meeting held on 22 October 2020. CRRC Trustee Adrian Matthews (bottom right in the photo) presented an e-petition signed by over 600 residents to the meeting, calling for...


November 13, 2020

Family reunion

Safe, legal routes to resettlement are needed to prevent people desperate to be reunited with friends and family taking sometimes fatal risks to reach the UK. This is why it is so important to campaign for the legal resettlement of refugees to be re-started. CRRC has found that this is...


November 10, 2020

Well-being and work for refugees

The Well-being and Work for Refugees Integration Project was launched on 21 October with funds from the EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. A preliminary consultative forum met online on 24 September, attended by representatives of CRRC, Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum, Cambridge Central Mosque, local health and mental health practitioners,...


October 22, 2020

Urgent - Please write to your City Councillor

Many thanks to all of you who signed our petition to Cambridge City Council asking for them to extend their existing refugee programme to welcome an extra 125 asylum seekers or refugees. Because this petition was successful, the City Council will now debate this request on the 22nd of October....


October 09, 2020

Advice to all families and volunteers on COVID 19

With children back at school and many places of work open, all of us are in contact with more people. We want you to be safe, well and able to enjoy others’ company in these difficult times, while taking actions that ensure that we don’t catch or spread the virus....


October 01, 2020

Back To School campaign

Many of CRRC’s beneficiary families are struggling to buy school uniform for the new school year as they try to support family members in camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Some are badly affected by the terrible explosion recently in Beirut: hearing that their loved ones have been injured, lost...


October 01, 2020

£5000 in funding from the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation

We have received a £5000 grant from the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation’s Warwick and Dominey Fund. This will support all our core activities, and so help provide English lessons for adult refugees, after-school activities for the refugee children, such as Code Club and Arabic classes, and holiday outings for entire refugee...


July 07, 2020

Annual report for 2019

You can now read our full annual report for the year to June 2019 (2.8 MB PDF file). Here’s a taster of what we were up to: At the start of our campaign in 2015, CRRC persuaded Cambridge City Council to agree to settle a minimum of 50 individual refugees...


July 06, 2020

Code club

After a well deserved summer break, our Code Club resumed for more learning about computers, programming and technology. Most of the previous cohort were present and keen to continue their adventure, but we also had a few new joiners. Our focus for the first term was to discover the world...


February 17, 2020

Recent outreach events

Active Refugee Solidarity Panel Discussion at Kings College At the invitation of RE:action, the student refugee action group at the University of Cambridge, two CRRC volunteers shared a panel on 3 December with Steve Bedlam from Refugee Community Kitchen (RCK) to discuss their work with refugees in Northern France and...


February 12, 2020

South Cambridgeshire welcomes new families

South Cambridgeshire District Council has agreed to accept two new refugee families this spring, in addition to three families who arrived towards the end of last year. CRRC has been helping the three new families resettled in villages near to Cambridge with small adjustments to their new homes, accessing our...


February 10, 2020


Martial Arts Uniting Lives (MAUL) contacted CRRC in early January to offer free taekwondo sessions to the refugee families at Queen Edith’s Primary School. The classes are aimed at women and children, and take place twice per week. Two refugee families attended and thoroughly enjoyed the class. Thank you very...


February 08, 2020

DVLA consults with CRRC on driving tests

CRRC were delighted to be consulted by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) via the Strategic Migration Partnership about the challenges that refugees can face in taking the driving theory test. The DVSA are also exploring ways to simplify the Highway Code and will improve the accessibility of the...


February 01, 2020

Seasonal family outings

During the Christmas holidays Georgina and Layla organised two fantastic days out. The first was ice skating at the Cambridge North Pole on Parker’s Piece with around 9 families. This was such good fun and the children loved it! Some were a little hesitant at first, and some threw themselves...


January 14, 2020

Refugee employment project

CRRC is beginning to build an ‘employment’ volunteer network. Our refugee group comprises mostly of tradespeople, many of whom had been running their own small business, and our network of volunteers is exploring ways to help them back into their chosen work. This means getting to grips with standards of...


January 08, 2020

Refugee Council success

The Refugee Council launched an open letter to the Chancellor in early October on discovering that the UK Government had reneged on its pledge to continue funding to resettled refugees after Brexit. Currently, Government funding for services for resettled refugees comes through the EU’s Asylum, Migration and Immigration Fund (AMIF),...


November 18, 2019

Supporting wellbeing

CRRC recognises that all refugees have experienced considerable trauma and may continue to do so even once housed and set up in the UK. To address this, CRRC trustee and psychologist Ann Goodridge and Susan Mealing of the Refugee Council have designed a half-day workshop to help volunteers interpret what...


November 11, 2019

New campaign launched!

We have launched a new fundraising campaign to pay for driving lessons for any of our refugee friends who have passed their theory test. If you’d like to find out more, or to help us raise money to help, check out the dedicated campaign page.


November 04, 2019

Bike maintenance workshop

The bike experts at OWL ran another bike maintenance workshop for our families on Monday 21st October. There were ten participants, three adults and seven children, all keen to learn how to keep their bikes working. One family brought four bikes, three of which were repaired and brought up to...


November 03, 2019

Two new families arrive

Two new families have arrived in Cambridge since September. One is a family of five, with three small children, the other is a family of four, with three teenagers. Both are being housed in South Cambridgeshire.


October 31, 2019

Driving-test success!

Ahmed, who is just starting university and is the eldest child of one of our beneficiary families, recently became the first member of any of Cambridge’s resettled refugee families to pass his UK driving test. Many congratulations, Ahmed! Several others have now sat and passed their theory tests, although the...


October 25, 2019

Driving-test campaign update

In March this year, Trustee Adrian Matthews launched a UK Government petition to reverse the decision to abolish language support for driving-test candidates. This was accompanied by a letter-writing campaign to local MPs. NE Cambs MP Lucy Frazer responded to her constituent’s letters by contacting the Minister for Transport, Jesse...


October 15, 2019

Annual report for 2018

This might seem a bit late but, with the launch of this new website in mid-2019, we can more easily release our annual reports and other news. So, you can now read our full annual report for the year to June 2018 (2.8 MB PDF file). Here’s a taster of...


August 12, 2019

International Organisation for Migration Training Workshop

The International Organisation for Migration is the UN’s agency charged with helping refugees who have been approved for resettlement with cultural adjustment before they are flown to their new homes. In a workshop evening session on 21 February, IOM trainers Meredith and Ahmed explained how little time they were given...


May 09, 2019

New Social Media Volunteer

The Communications team are delighted to be joined by Kay, who will be taking over the CRRC Twitter feed management from Sarah. She is keen to encourage any CRRC volunteers to send her any news items, campaigns, images or events you would like shared. You can contact her here. Members...


May 08, 2019

Hostile environment defeat

A key plank of Theresa May’s Hostile Environment immigration policy, the Right to Rent scheme, was declared unlawful in a ruling handed down by Mr Justice Spencer at the High Court in early March. He said: It is my view that the Scheme introduced by the Government does not merely...


May 06, 2019

Talk by Abdulazez Dukhan at the University Centre

On 14 April, CRRC co-hosted a talk at the University Centre by Abdulazez Dukhan, a young Syrian refugee committed to telling the refugee story ‘through refugee eyes’. This was part of a UK-wide speaking tour arranged by Safe Passage for Abdulazez, and was attended by almost 100 people. He was...


May 05, 2019

Outreach talks

CRRC’s Trustees have been out and about raising awareness of refugee issues around the area. Sue, Adrian and Dan gave an illustrated talk at Comberton Village College in February, which was so well received that they have been invited to Shelford Library to give the same talk on 26 June....


May 04, 2019

Ahbab Festival

The fourth annual Ahbab Festival took place on the 15th, 16th and 17th February at Cambridge Junction, celebrating Middle Eastern and North African culture. The Festival brought together an array of musical performances including the Baladi Blues Ensemble, the Ayoub Sisters and Amira Kheir, as well as screenings of the...


May 03, 2019

Driving-test campaign update

CRRC’s campaign to persuade the Government to reinstate language support for the driving test has seen a flurry of activity over the past two months. Our petition hit its first major milestone in March when signatures topped the 1000 mark. It has now garnered over 2000 signatures, many more than...


May 02, 2019

Easter holiday activities

The start of the Easter holidays saw a large group of about 40 spend a fascinating (if slightly scary!) day on 8 April visiting the Sedgwick Museum on the Downing site. The children were given worksheets and activities and had a wonderful time getting to know the dinosaurs and fossils...


May 01, 2019