Imagine a world where refugees are welcomed by everyone

By Cllr Rebecca Harvey, Lead Member for Child Refugees in H&F.

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Cllr Rebecca Harvey (left) with Lord Alf Dubs (second from right) and child refugees during a football training session at Craven Cottage

By Cllr Rebecca Harvey, Lead Member for Child Refugees in H&F

This is Refugee Week, which culminates on Saturday (20 June) with World Refugee Day, celebrating the diverse cultures of our refugees and the contribution they bring to our lives. This year’s Refugee Week theme is ‘Imagine’.

In Hammersmith & Fulham, we would like to imagine a world where refugees are welcomed by everyone, and where they do not have to make dangerous journeys to safety fleeing persecution, violence and war.

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Photo taken during Refugee Week 2019 at the Lyric Hammersmith. Pictured are Lord Alf Dubs (far left), Cllr Stephen Cowan (centre) and Vanessa Redgrave (far right)

We imagine a world where unaccompanied children are safe and loved and reunited with their families. We imagine a world where refugees are respected, treated fairly, not subject to unfair immigration policies such as no recourse to public funds and having restrictions on their ability to work and support themselves, being unfairly treated and discriminated against.

In H&F, we want a better world for refugees. Many of our young child refugees have settled with support of our dedicated social workers, foster carers, and community organisations, such as British Red Cross, Fulham Football Club Foundation, Safe Passage, West London Welcome, and many more.

Our unaccompanied child refugees have studied and progressed into jobs and university and become wonderful young adults.  We have seen refugees create support networks for each other and created activities to support the environment, such as Bees & Refugees.

Last year we came together with Lord Alf Dubs, Vanessa Redgrave, and local refugees to celebrate Refugee Week.  This year, we share more stories online from our refugees.

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