Marlow Refugee Action

Support those who are dealing with the ongoing crisis


Understanding the refugee crisis

The scale of this crisis is difficult to absorb and understand, and it is easy to feel powerless to help. Although it may drift in and out of the media, the number of displaced people around the world is at its highest since the Second World War, at 68.5 million people – that’s nearly the entire population of the UK.

Of these, 25.4 million people are refugees, fleeing their home countries as a result of persecution, war or violence. Over half of them are under the age of 18. Many of these refugees are being hosted in camps in neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, whilst others travel across Europe through Greece, Italy and the Balkans.

Understanding the statistics is one thing, but these people are not just numbers, they are individuals like you and me. They had homes, careers, and social lives; they have children like ours who played sport and played with friends; they had promising futures, hopes and dreams. But they have made the difficult choice to leave, and we can barely imagine the horrific circumstances which lead them to this, nor can we imagine what their lives are like now.

Although it can feel like there is little we can do individually, together we can make a real and lasting difference.

Who are Marlow Refugee Action

Since October 2016, Marlow Refugee Action has been connecting people with ways to respond to the ongoing crisis. The group has evolved from an informal group to a registered charity led by a passionate group of trustees and supported by a great bunch of people from in and around Marlow who pledge what time and money they can give to make a difference.
At the heart of what they do is an awareness of how fortunate we are to live in this beautiful area in peace, safety and comfort.

What does Marlow Refuge Action do

The scale of the refugee crisis is overwhelming and can lead to inertia.

The aim of the group is to make people aware of the ongoing crisis and to make it easy for people to help.

To do this they focus our efforts on:

  • Raising awareness within our community
  • Fundraising for frontline charities
  • Supporting refugees and asylum seekers locally

The group gets personally involved in the projects it is involved with and encourages its supporters to do the same.

Projects are chosen using the following principles:

  • Help a small number of people a lot
  • Make the people and the issues real
  • Connect people with the issues
  • Support projects with local connections

Current projects:

Samos: One of Marlow Refugee Action’s strongest links is with the Greek island of Samos where several of the group have volunteered.

Just 5km from Turkey, Samos is where over 4,000 people currently live in squalid conditions in a camp built for 700.

In August 2018 the group helped with the establishment of a legal centre to provide free, independent legal counselling to assist refugees in navigating the Greek asylum procedure. They have since been raising money to help with ongoing running costs.

Marlow: Britain is currently host to less than 1% of refugees. Marlow Refugee Action works with other UK and local charities to help refugees in our community.

So far, the group financially supports scholarships at the Marlow Language Centre and provides 1:1 informal conversational support for several local refugees.

Ultimately, Marlow Refugee Action would love to provide a welcoming home for refugees in Marlow.

How you can help

Spread the word – help raise awareness. Talk to your friends and family about what they do, follow them on Facebook or Twitter and share with your friends.

Make a donation – either a one-off or regular donation. Every donation is welcomed, however small, and will go towards supporting those in need.

Stay in touch – if you have any questions, or would like to receive their monthly newsletter, please email

Fundraise – whether you feel inspired to run a race, host a cake sale or organise a quiz night, fundraising can be fun and also raises awareness.

Volunteer your time – there are several ways you can help, whatever your skills may be. Get in touch if you are interested in:

  • Helping to run the charity – if you have skills or experience in marketing, finance, admin or fundraising they’d love to hear from you.
  • Providing one-to-one conversational language support for local refugees.
  • Mentoring – if you are an engineer, teacher, doctor or dentist ask for information about becoming a mentor.
  • Volunteering in the field – Marlow Refugee Action has contacts with several agencies and can provide information about how to go about this.