Guest Blog: Refugee Action

As you may have seen, £10 of every online Lilla Rugs order is donated to Refugee Action. We are a young brand, but have big hearts, and we hope that in that we can make even the tiniest bit of difference to the lives of those in need. We thought it would be helpful to tell you all a little bit more about Refugee Action, to help you understand what it is that you are contributing towards and the incredible change your donations are making to peoples lives.


We are so delighted that Lilla Rugs have chosen to support Refugee Action. Their ongoing generosity and passion for the cause plays an important role in helping us fund our vital work supporting vulnerable refugees and people seeking asylum to access justice, escape poverty and rebuild their lives in the UK. We are really excited to be working together.  A huge thank you to Camilla and everyone at Lilla Rugs.


So why is it that Refugee Action exist as a charity?

We are in the midst of the worst refugee crisis since WWII. Desperate people have no choice but to flee everything they know and undertake harrowing journeys to find safety.

The people Refugee Action see once they arrive in the UK have lost everything. Their vision is that they will be welcomed, they will get justice, live free of poverty and be able to successfully rebuild their lives.

Through appointments, group activities and outreach work to ensure the most vulnerable people are given the support they need, Refugee Action’s dedicated staff and volunteers enable their understanding of UK systems, advocate fiercely on their behalf to ensure they access their rights, and empower them to rebuild their lives. 

Refugee Action has been supporting refugees since 1981, fighting to ensure that refugees and people seeking asylum are safe, far from the horror they have fled. Their work has changed the way the UK treats people seeking asylum and refugees for years to come.

Photo Credit: Refugee Action


Some key facts & answers to questions that come up a lot - 

What is a refugee?

According to the UN Refugee Convention, the definition of a refugee is someone who…

‘Owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country’ (Article 1, 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees)

What is an asylum seeker?

The definition of an asylum seeker is someone who has arrived in a country and asked for asylum. Until they receive a decision as to whether or not they are a refugee, they are known as an asylum seeker. In the UK, this means they do not have the same rights as a refugee or a British citizen would. For example, asylum seekers aren’t allowed to work.

The right to seek asylum is a legal right we all share. It isn’t illegal to seek asylum, because seeking asylum is a legal process. It also isn’t illegal to be refused asylum – it just means you haven’t been able to meet the very strict criteria to prove your need for protection as a refugee.

Are there many refugees and asylum seekers in the UK?

No. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), by the end of 2017 there were 121,837 refugees, 40,365 pending asylum cases and 97 stateless persons in the UK. That’s around one quarter of a percent (0.25%) of the UK’s total population.

Read more FAQ's here.

Refugee Action & Lilla Rugs

Photo Credit: Refugee Action


What are some examples of how Refugee Action have helped specific people? In other words, what exactly is it that your contributions are doing?

Let's look at two cases Refugee Action have so kindly shared:

Fatima fled Iraq with her two daughters, aged 3 and 7, after receiving death threats and witnessing unimaginable atrocities. The horror of what they experienced, and their journey to the UK left her eldest child, Sara, completely mute. Desperate, Fatima arrived in the UK where she dreamt they would be safe. Instead with no support and no advice, they were street homeless, destitute and alone. Thanks to supporters like you, Refugee Action was able to secure her housing, help with her asylum claim and get immediate therapeutic support for her daughters.  When asked what she thought about Refugee Action, Fatima replied “I can never thank you enough, you know how to make my life brighter, you always so helpful, you make the world nicer place for me.”


Ali, aged 14, was found lost and frightened in a refugee camp before being reunited with his brother, Hussain, in the UK. Sadly his brother had also fled horrific war, violence and persecution and was struggling to survive himself. Our projects supported the brothers to have access to healthcare, schooling, financial support and therapy so they could begin to rebuild their lives safely.  “Thank you – no one else has done anything for me, thank you”, Ali.

If you'd like to contribute without buying a rug, or even to give more than our designated £10, please do so here.