Friday, October 11, 2019

25 years of STAR - You made it happen!


It’s a big year at STAR. Blow up some balloons and get your dancing shoes on because it’s our 25th birthday!

For 25 years, university and college students have been campaigning, volunteering, fundraising and educating their fellow students about the reality of the lives of refugees to make the UK a place of welcome and they have made a huge impact.

The movement started in 1994 and today spans 50 institutions across 33 towns and cities. In the six years since 2013 our network has doubled in size to 35,000! This year alone we have supported 4,458 refugees in 86 volunteering projects, held 548 educational events attended by 27,000 people, campaigned for the right to work for asylum seekers, an end to immigration detention and better refugee family reunion rights plus made sure as many people seeking asylum can access university as possible!

This is a BIG DEAL and deserves a celebration, so of course we’ll be celebrating all year long.

There will be something on offer for everyone, whether you’re a STAR graduate, a current STAR member or someone that just want to know more about our fantastic charity. We’ll be sharing blogs celebrating our major milestones in campaigning, volunteering and across the student network over the months ahead.

Read on to find out how we got to where we are, what we’re doing to celebrate and most importantly how you can join us in raising a glass to a quarter century of students taking action for refugees.

So how did it all begin?

In 1994, some students at Nottingham University went to their freshers’ fair wanting to find something they could do to welcome refugees and were disappointed.

They spoke to UNHCR about bringing their message to campus – and thus STAR was born!


The message started to spread – the second group was soon set up in Edinburgh and within 6 years the network spanned 20 universities. In 1999, STAR became an official charity, and was given its first home in the Refugee Council’s offices.

Today we’re at the biggest we’ve ever been, having just welcomed our new 2019/20 committees at a record 50 groups.

All the more reason to party!

I love a party – how do I get involved?

There’s loads planned – and we’d love you to get involved! We’ll be releasing details about a major event soon, but in the meantime there’s lots you can do to help STAR celebrate.

1. Tell us your STAR story

We want to hear how you fit into STAR’s story. Let us know about your own STAR journey so we can get to know (and celebrate!) the people that have made these 25 years happen. To give you some inspiration here is what STAR’s founder Andy Davies had to say…

2. Become a STAR sports champion

We’ve gathered a fantastic fivesome of first-time half-marathon runners who will be launching their fundraising campaigns at the end of the month. There’s going to be an attempt at completing the London Classics – Ride London, the London Marathon and Swim Serpentine – and we’ve even heard rumours of a sky dive!

If you want to take on something yourself but you’re not quite sure it’s for you, don’t sweat it – not all sponsored events are as a strenuous! Whether your own personal challenge is walking 1 kilometre, running 20, or just growing a beard, we’d love to hear from you. The STAR team is on hand to provide fundraising support, training advice and to cheer you on on the day – so you’ll be able to make the biggest impact you can on the lives of refugees through your fundraising as well as achieving your personal goal.

3. Donate to support refugees in the UK

You can support us to continue our work by donating to our birthday fundraiser or you can also set up a regular donation

4. Keep an eye on our upcoming events

Sign up to our “mailing list”: to make sure you don’t miss all the fun events and celebrations we have coming up throughout the year!

So thanks for making it happen!

To everyone out there who has taken action on campus or supported the STAR charity – a huge thank you!

We’re so excited about celebrating with you, and can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next 25 years of welcoming refugees.

Posted by STAR team on 11/10/2019 at 01:08 PM