What is STAR?
STAR is the national network of student groups working to improve the lives of refugees in the UK by:
- Promoting positive images of refugees
- Volunteering for local refugee projects
- Campaigning for refugees
STAR student groups are independently constituted student union societies, based at universities all over the UK
Student groups affiliate to the national STAR Network, which is co-ordinated and financed by the STAR National charity. The charity is governed by STAR’s Board of Trustees. Find out more about STAR:
- Why refugees and why students?
- Where do we come from?
- How can I follow STAR on Facebook and Twitter?
- Do you have a newsletter so I can stay in touch?
Refugees and asylum seekers are a vulnerable group of people who often have a long and difficult struggle to secure their safety in another country. As people fleeing persecution, torture and prejudice they need and deserve our support.
As a new generation it is vital that students have a positive attitude towards refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people. Students have time, energy and enthusiasm to give to supporting refugees and asylum seekers.
STAR aims to cater for all its members and supporters. Whether you want to participate in volunteering projects, campaigns, organise publicity stunts, work with refugees in your local area or simply turn up to a meeting to hear a speaker or receive our quarterly newsletter, it’s here, it’s fun and it’s yours for the taking.
Contact us if you’d like to find out more about student groups, supporting our work, or if you would like STAR volunteers at your refugee project.
Find out all about our achievements, how STAR has developed and where we are now.
1994 STAR was born! Andy Davies, a student at Nottingham University, was amazed to discover that nothing existed to enable students to get involved in supporting refugees. He put up some posters and held a meeting – over 60 students came!
1996 Word spread, with founding member Elly Hargreave helping to start two more STAR groups in London and Edinburgh.
1997 Elly set up the first office in London and began coordinating the growth of STAR into a national network.
1998 The first national conference at Nottingham University, ‘Beyond Words’, was attended by over 80 STAR members.
1999 The government introduced its policy of dispersal, which meant asylum seekers were sent to locations across the UK (previously most had been located in the South East). The pressing need to provide support to these asylum seekers and raise awareness of refugee issues amongst the local populations in these areas led to the rapid growth of the STAR network: there were now 16 STAR groups.
STAR became a registered charity. A staffed national support office was established in London. The STAR Newsletter and national website were launched.
2000 The Friends of STAR scheme was launched as a way of enabling STAR graduates to remain supporters of the network.
2002 STAR received funding to employ four staff members at the office in London.
The Youth Network, for 16 to 25 year olds, was launched with a national roadshow.
STAR’s first ever national campaign was launched: ‘Asylum Policy is Pants’. Find out more information on this campaign.
2003 STAR’s first ever National Action Day took place: the first time the entire network did something on the same day.
2007 STAR launched their new website in the summer.
The 10th annual national STAR conference was held: 120 delegates, 12 workshops, 8 action sessions, 6 panellists, 3 keynote speakers, 1 short movie, and 1 truly AWESOME party.
2008 STAR’s best Action Day yet saw over 700 sleeping out in 21 cities to demand the end of the destitution of refused asylum seekers as part of the Still Human Still Here campaign.
2009 STAR begins work on improving access to higher education for refugees, including the ‘Equal Access’ campaign at universities.
2010 STAR gets its biggest membership ever – over 5,000 students! We also had a whopping 45 volunteering projects supporting over 1,800 refugees across the UK.
Keeping up with what’s going on at STAR is easy. Just ‘like’ us on Facebook or follow our tweets by clicking on the buttons.
If you’d prefer to get STAR news direct to your email inbox, simply sign up for one of our e-newsletters: