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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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More than a million would shelter a refugee

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​Charities Aid Foundation shows the phenomenal response across the UK to the refugee crisis

Research shows that millions of people in the UK have lent their support to refugees over the past month.

A Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) survey found that more than 1.8 million households would offer a room to a refugee – that’s one in 14 across the country, equating to 1.86 million homes.

Polling suggest that young adults under the age of 35 would be most likely to accommodate a refugee with 12% of 25 – 34-year-olds saying they would be likely to offer space in their home.

The Syrian refugee crisis has inspired a huge response from communities and charities across the country in recent weeks.

When people are in need, communities get together to help, supporting the causes they care about

CAF's poll, carried out by Populus, reveals that almost one in three (31%) people have contributed in some way to the refugee relief effort in the last month.

It also found that social media and distressing images depicting the humanitarian struggle have played a huge part in mobilising the response of people across the UK.

John Low, chief executive of CAF, said: “The heartbreaking pictures we have seen of people risking their lives as they flee for safety has really touched people across the country and spurred them on to lend support.

“British people have a proud history of stepping up to the plate and helping others across the world in their time of need. It is a mark of that generosity that so many people are lending their support whether by raising money, donating goods, or even offering space in their homes for a refugee.

“As happens so often in this country when people are in need, communities get together to help, supporting the causes they care about. It's a good idea for people looking to lend their support to see if there are charities operating locally which are co-ordinating appeals.

“This way they can ensure that their contributions and efforts are being put to the best use and getting to the right people.

"The desperate need to get support to refugees is likely to remain once the news agenda has moved on. People who have been spurred into action in the past few weeks could make an even bigger difference by thinking about how they can turn their support into something which helps relief efforts in the longer-term."