Thank you for your incredible generosity to the Guardian and Observer charity appeal | Katharine Viner

A few weeks ago, we launched the Guardian and Observer charity appeal in support of refugees and asylum seekers. Our aim was to raise money by telling stories of hope, about amazing people doing remarkable things to serve their communities.

Thanks to your incredible generosity we have once again achieved our aim. With just a couple of days until the 2023 appeal closes we have raised more than £1,336,000. Nearly 12,000 readers have donated. In any year this would be impressive; in a cost of living crisis it is truly outstanding.

The money we have raised will be shared between our three fantastic partner charities: Refugee Councils of Britain, Refugees at Home, and the No Accommodation Network (Naccom). All offer practical support to UK refugees and asylum seekers facing destitution and homelessness.

The hostile treatment of refugees by some politicians and media, and the denigration of charities that campaign on their behalf and of the UN refugee convention principles to which the UK has long been a signatory, is the distressing backdrop to our appeal.

We were determined that, in contrast, kindness, respect, tolerance, compassion and an uncompromising commitment to human rights and tackling injustice would be at the heart of the appeal. These values underpin the work of all three of our charity partners.

Refugee Councils of Britain will use its share of net donations to help fund its work helping refugees across England, Scotland and Wales live safe and fulfilling lives and to campaign to improve the experiences of people seeking asylum in the UK.

Refugees at Home will use its share of donations to expand the scale of its core work – helping connect volunteer hosts with a spare room across the UK with refugees and asylum seekers who are in desperate need of somewhere to stay.

The lion’s share of donations allocated to our third partner, Naccom, will be redistributed in grant form among several of its member charities – local grassroots organisations across the UK providing practical support to asylum seekers and refugees in dire poverty.

Many of you told us you donated as a simple human act of kindness. Others gave because they were outraged by our reporting of refugees with leave to remain being kicked out of hostels and on to the freezing streets at seven days’ notice. Some said they donated out of gratitude and solidarity because theirs was a refugee family that in the past had the good fortune to be welcomed to the UK.

It is not too late to give to the appeal, which closes at midnight on Sunday. I’d like to thank everyone who has so generously donated, and in advance to those whom we hope we can still persuade to contribute.


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