Social media plays huge part in mobilising support for refugees, poll shows

A poll, carried out by Populus, shows that almost half of 18 to 24-year-olds (42 per cent) said they had been encouraged to lend their support by things they had seen on social media.

| 25th Sep 15

Research commissioned by Charities Aid Foundation has shown that millions in the UK have shown their support for refugees over the past month.

The poll, carried out by Populus, showed that almost half of 18 to 24-year-olds (42 per cent) said they had been encouraged to lend their support by things they had seen on social media. Within the past month, a quarter of this age group have shared and supported campaigns in support of refugees on Facebook and Twitter.


Prompting a response

As well as social media, the other top factors prompting people to lend their support include:

  • The belief that international assistance is essential, which was cited by 40 per cent of people who have donated or contributed.
  • The scale of the crisis, with such large numbers of people affected (39 per cent)
  • Seeing images of children and distress and danger (36%)


 Further findings

The research also discovered that over 1.8 million UK households would offer a room to a refugee.

In terms of demographics, it indicates that those under the age of 35 would be most likely to accommodate a refugee, with 12 per cent of 25-34 year olds saying they would be likely to offer space in their home.

It also showed that, over the past four weeks, one in three people have contributed in some way to the refugee relief effort.



Thinking long-term

John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation 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.”