It’s been a busy few months for STAR as we’ve welcomed 38 student groups to our network, to volunteer, educate and campaign to create a more welcoming society for refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK! Something that is needed more than ever as immigration policy and government rhetoric is becoming increasingly hostile and inhumane. 

So far this term we have been filling the skies with hope to oppose the cruel Rwanda scheme, fighting the UK’s anti-refugee laws, and campaigning for improved access to higher education in World Access to Higher Education week. STAR groups have been busy getting their volunteering projects started up to give people seeking sanctuary a warm welcome in their local communities and organising loads of events to make sure their fellow students know why the right to refugee protection is so vital, how people are being treated in the UK right now and what needs to change.

But with Christmas just around the corner, they’ve also been doing what they can to spread a little festive cheer, positivity and kindness this holiday season. Here are just a few of the excellent things STAR members have been up to!

Christmas card fever!

Sussex STAR held a holiday card making workshop for people being held in detention centres. The cards were sent to show their solidarity, and let people know that someone is thinking about them this Christmas. The cards were given to LGSMigrants who will be sending them to people in detention centres.

“We hope these cards will shine a little bit of hope and light on what is an unimaginably cruel experience that we should be ashamed of allowing people to go through”

Winchester STAR have also been spreading positivity through Christmas crafts. The group teamed up with the Winchester Feels society and organised a craft workshop where they created paper flowers and Christmas cards for #Kindnessbypost, a project run by Mental Health Collective to spread goodwill and warmth across the country. 

It’s not Christmas without a Christmas party

Warwick STAR got together to enjoy a delicious Christmas meal and round off the year. The event was a great way for STAR members to come together and celebrate everything that has been achieved by the group over the last three months. The group also organised a secret santa, where STAR members donated Christmas presents to share with the community of refugees and asylum seekers the group supports at their conversation club.

Cardiff STAR also held a Christmas party, where the group came together to socialise, have snacks, play games and announce the lucky winners of their raffle. The raffle raised money for their English conversation classes for refugees, and raffle prizes included jewellery, coffee and baked treats from local Cardiff businesses! 

Gingerbread decorating 

In Bristol, the group ended the year with a gingerbread decorating and clothes swapping event. Members swapped clothes or donated them to charities that support refugees and people seeking asylum. Bristol STAR will be accepting donations until 22nd December, get in touch with the group to find out more.

It’s been a busy and inspiring Christmas for STAR groups, as they continue to fight to make the UK a more welcoming place for refugees and people seeking asylum. As we celebrate the holiday season, we want to showcase and give thanks to all our STAR groups for the incredible work they have done this term. These events show the power of community and the importance of giving. Happy holidays from all of us at STAR!

If you’re looking for ways that you can make a difference this Christmas, STAR has been selected to feature in the Transform Trade Injustice Advent Calendar – the online advent calendar giving you the chance to do good every day in December. Sign up here to receive a daily email with a simple action to fight injustice.

Donate to STAR to build a society where refugees are welcome. 

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