In March 1994, a Refugee Conference was organised to discuss the problems refugees were facing locally, and to find ways to help.
The conference was organised jointly by RISC, Oxfam, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Reading Voluntary Action, Reading’s UN group and Churches Together In Berkshire. The conference raised £500 and Reading Refugee Support Group was formed as a refugee-led organisation with the aim of helping Refugees living locally. Reading has a proud history of welcoming displaced people, dating back to 1947 and hosting orphan refugees from Dusseldorf (now Reading’s twinned town in Germany).
Since then, Reading Refugee Support Group has become a registered charity and has provided practical help and legal advice for thousands of refugees and people seeing asylum across Berkshire.
Our OISC approved Solicitor and Caseworkers are the only approved providers of asylum support in Reading and our services are constantly in demand.
Our weekly Drop Ins, provide a safe space to socialise, make friends, learn English, get advice from a Caseworker, and get help finding work.
We also run English classes, a Homework Club, Sanctuary Strikers FC – our refugee football team – and more activities, to help refugees integrate, get back on their feet and rebuild their lives in their new home.
In 2019, we celebrated our 25th Anniversary culminating in an evening of celebrations at Reading Concert Hall. That year, we were also awarded The Queen’s Award For Voluntary Service, the highest accolade for a UK charity.