Refugee Week 2024: A safe place to call home

Date Published: 17 Jun 2024
Caritas director Patrick sitting talking to another man who can only be seen from side profile. They are talking at an event

As individuals, organisations, businesses, community groups and others across the UK start to mark Refugee Week, at Caritas Salford we’re proud to be joining them.  

Here, our director, Patrick O’Dowd, explains more about why we’re getting involved, and the importance of being there for others at a time they need it most…

There’s so much noise in the media and in our communities about refugees, especially this year with the General Election receiving so much attention. But, amongst the rhetoric, what many people lose sight of is that, outside of the polls and soundbites there are real people with real lives that urgently need kindness, help and support.

Any of us could become a refugee at any time.

Many of the people we work alongside who are settling in Greater Manchester and Lancashire never imagined they would be forced from the safe haven of their home; from everything they know and love; having to start again from scratch in a brand-new place, often many, many miles away from loved ones or familiarity.

Divisive approaches to politics, by very nature, seek to polarise communities and fuel discord and resentment.  Therefore, it’s important for us to highlight issues and encourage people to mobilise towards civic engagement and positive social change for the common good.

Most important is to remember that people seeking refuge that we work alongside – from mums and dads, teachers and doctors, engineers to artists – are humans with the same wishes, aspirations and hopes that we all have.  They want to feel safe and they want a secure place to call home.  That’s not too much to ask for anyone.  It’s a basic human dignity we should all have and uphold, whatever our background or circumstances, and wherever we are from.


Caritas staff member smiling in front of a screen which says Welcome

Our work supporting people with a refugee background spans many of our services.  We’ve provided them with language or other education classes, supported with accessing systems, support, legal and administrative requirements, helped them find a home, assisted those who need additional crisis or food support, and been there with a friendly ear at a difficult time.  We’re proud to have been alongside many individuals and families as they’ve transformed their own lives with dignity.

This Refugee Week, we’ve a whole range of resources, toolkits and activities, and we’d love you to get involved to help even more people who need it right now.

From getting in touch to let us know what home means to you, accessing the free toolkits and resources to hold and event or activity in your community, sharing our news and social media posts, or donating or taking on a challenge to raise funds to support people locally, every little step really does make a difference. Find out more now by visiting:

We’ll be talking more this week about why it’s important to dispel myths and to not only support people from a refugee background in our communities, but also why it’s vital to address the root causes of migration crises across the world.

There are many complex causes, from human rights to war, governance to climate crisis, and lots in between.  However complex this situation may be, there’s a global responsibility for us all to stand up and take action.

At Caritas we’re proud to not only support people at a time they need it most, but also to advocate and call for real, tangible change.  Only by addressing the root causes of issues surrounding poverty, isolation and discrimination can we truly make a difference.

People from a refugee background support the UK in so many ways, whether in professional roles or the part they play in their local communities too.  We’re proud to know many of them in the diocese of Salford, and I’m sure you are too.

Please do take a look at our special Refugee Week website page and get involved however you can.  Whatever big or small action you can take, it really will make a difference. 

Thank you, as always for your compassion, kindness and support.

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