This week the press has been full of images that have pulled at the heart strings of many of us. Sadly, these images are just the tip of the iceberg and highlight something that's been going on for far too long, and has been largely ignored by the UK government. It is not acceptable that people are dying to try and save their lives and those of their loved ones. It is not ok that the UK has closed its doors to the people who most need our help, as it is no longer safe for them to live in the countries they call home (yesterday the government promised to take in 4,000 refugees - 4,000 people is only 0.1 percent of the total number of Syrian refugees). I've got a stack of blog posts about expensive restaurants and nice food I've eaten that are ready to be published, but it doesn't feel right to write about that now. I have a privileged life that means I can do what I want and go where I want without question but I know I'm one of the lucky ones - born in a country that allows me freedom, but that now makes me feel embarrassed to be British. But being embarrassed isn't going to change the minds of government. Yes, we voted for the people who now make the decisions here, but despite their wrong decisions, there's still a lot of things we can all do to help the refugees who've had to flee their own countries. As millions of people are making a life threatening journey to seek safety there are aid agencies doing all they can to help and support them.

Action Aid is one of these agencies, and they've been working with refugees from Syria and many other war torn countries, who've had to leave their homes after four years of conflict in their country, for many years. Action Aid provide urgently needed support and supplies, clothing, food, water and medicine to refugees from all countries, and with our help they can continue to do this, and work on a plan to further increase their response to the humanitarian emergency that is happening on our doorstep. Action Aid are raising money for their emergency response to the refugee crisis and you can donate to that here. As Mike Noyes, head of humanitarian response at Action Aid says, "our common humanity demands of us compassion, support and protection of those in fear now". So please, donate what you can.

If you want to help further there are still so many ways you can do so. 

There are individuals, all over Europe doing all they can to help. This is a fundraising page set up by a girl who works for refugee organisations and now lives in Greece. She is raising money so she can provide food, water and shelter to refugees in Greece. A friend is raising money to provide basic aid to refugees who are in now stuck in Calais because our country's government won't allow them to travel any further. There are hundreds of people raising money to help refugees, and you can donate to any of them.

Newspapers have published ways that we can help too, listing aid agencies and grassroots groups to support, lists of petitions we can sign and details of marches to take part in. On 12th September, come and join us as we march through Westminster to show our solidarity with all refugees. You can find many more ways to help here

I found this poem, written by Somali poet Warsan Shire, which so darkly explains the situation that refugees find themselves in. No one chooses the country they are born in to so no-one deserves to be persecuted because of it, especially if the country they are born in to has been torn apart and become unsafe to live in because of war that is funded by our own government. 

"HOME," by Somali poet Warsan Shire:

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border...

when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbours running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it's not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn't be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i've become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here.

by Somali poet, Warsan Shire



  1. I think that poem sums up the situation perfectly - thanks for sharing.

    Lizzie Dripping

  2. Thank you for posting this. I've been feeling the same way these days. It's hard to live the life we live when others are leaving everything they know to escape their misery.
    Glad to know I'm not alone with this personal dilemma.


    1. It's so hard isn't it, but we just have to do what we can to help from here.

      Rosie xx

  3. So beautifully written and full of real genuine ways to help - thanks so much Rosie.
    And that poem made me weep at my desk. I too feel thoroughly ashamed of Britain's response to this so far.
    M x

    1. Thank you Michelle, I was so moved by your post too. It's just awful, but if we do everything we can to help then at least we're doing something....

      Rosie xx

  4. A well written post, the news shared is only the tip of the iceberg, we only hear what a news agency wants to share. It will take the 23 richest countries working together at a time when they agree on nothing to put silly differences aside to help those whose lives have been torn apart Lucy x

    1. Let's hope they can do it Lucy, but in the meantime let's do everything we can to help too....

      R xx


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