Media release

Share a Cuppa Hope with refugee storytellers this summer to celebrate Refugee Week 2024

To mark Refugee Week, UK for UNHCR’s ‘Cuppa Hope’ campaign aims to start new conversations about what it means to be forced to flee your home by listening to individuals’ stories – ideally over a brew  

12 June 2024

UK for UNHCR celebrates Refugee Week launching Cuppa Hope campaign with series of pop-up cafes.

  • New research for the charity finds that sharing a cup of tea can help bring people together: three quarters (77%) of tea drinkers in the UK agree having a cuppa with someone can create space for a great conversation 
  • Cuppa Hope is launching with a series of pop-up cafes across the UK, where members of the public can enjoy ‘tea & talks’ with refugees from around the world 
  • The Cuppa Hope cafes kick-started in Edinburgh just yesterday, with London next on 19 June and Bradford on 20 June – finishing on World Refugee Day 
  • The campaign is also encouraging people to brew a Cuppa Hope at home, by trying tea recipes from the around the world, learning from refugees and sharing their own #cuppahope on social media   

This Refugee Week, UK for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency’s national charity partner for the UK, is starting a new conversation about what it means to be forced to flee your home by listening to individuals’ stories – all through a shared love of tea.   

 ‘Cuppa Hope’ is inspired by findings that the majority of UK tea drinkers believe having a cuppa with someone can create space for a great conversation (77%), whilst more than eight in ten (86%) agree that a cup of tea can cheer you up.  

The campaign is launching with a series of free pop-up cafe events across the UK, where members of the public are invited to enjoy ‘tea & talks’ with refugees from around the world, and throughout the summer the charity aims to bring together the nation’s love of a cosy cuppa and a chat, with the tea rituals that refugees have brought with them to the UK.  

There’s no denying the UK loves tea, as half of the UK (48%) who drink the beverage state that having one is simply part of their routine.  

The tea-drinking nation also revealed that the most common emotions when drinking tea are feelings of calm (53%), comfort (50%) and contentment (44%), which echo the feelings expressed by refugee storytellers. The Cuppa Hope spaces aim to embrace these feelings, providing warm, welcoming spaces where refugees and former refugees who have now found safety in the UK can share important stories, experiences and build meaningful connections over a cuppa.  

Guests at the pop-up events will be immersed in a range of tea practices, tasting delicious recipes and learning important stories from Bangladesh, Syria, Afghanistan, East Africa and Ukraine. The pop-up events will be an intimate opportunity, across two sessions throughout the day and limited to 30 people each.  

Emma Cherniavsky, Chief Executive of UK for UNHCR, said: ‘Cuppa Hope is about so much more than drinking tea – it’s creating an environment where barriers are broken down and bridges are built. With a simple cup of tea, you can start a conversation and extend the hand of friendship to someone who is new to your community. 

“Wherever you are, if you love tea, you can be part of Cuppa Hope and show refugees around the world that they’re not alone – whether at one of our pop-up cafes, online or at home.  

“I have loved trying tea in new ways and am so grateful to the Storytellers who have shared their personal tea traditions and started these new conversations. We hope that everyone who takes part in Cuppa Hope learns more about what it means to be forced to flee, which they can then share with others over their next cup.” 

The survey found that how people in the UK have their tea is very important, with more than half (56%) of tea drinkers saying they’re fussy about how their tea is made. At a Cuppa Hope Cafe, people will get to taste how refugees from around the world make their perfect cup of tea. In addition, UK for UNHCR is serving a new and exclusive ‘Cuppa Hope’ brew at each cafe – a tea blended to inspire solidarity with refugees, connecting people through the simple joy of talking over a cuppa.  

The Cuppa Hope blend has been developed with artisan tea company, Quintessential, and takes attendees on a sensory journey through its smooth, invigorating and full-bodied flavours. With Black Tea (54%) emerging as the most popular tea for UK tea drinkers, this black tea blend offers round toasted notes of honey, malt and a touch of stone fruits.  

At the first Cuppa Hope pop up in Edinburgh, attendees engaged in heartfelt conversations, sharing stories of resilience, hope and aspirations for the future. 

Mouhyedin, a former refugee who hosted his own tea & talk at the Edinburgh pop-up cafe, commented: “Tea holds such a special place in the daily lives of every Syrian, so to be able to share a small taste of my country’s culture was incredibly rewarding. I believe tea is a great way for people to connect from all walks of life, share stories and learn, so  being involved in Cuppa Hope means a lot to me. Living here in the UK has made me feel like an ambassador for my country, so I am proud to fly the banner for Syria on days like these.” 

London is next, hosted at CaffA south of the River Thames in Deptford on 19th June, in the heart of the Albany building. Kunafa Café in the centre of Bradford will then be hosting the final pop-up at their cafe on 20th June – bringing the series to a close on World Refugee Day.  

Beyond the pop-up cafes, the charity is encouraging everyone to learn more this summer, with the research finding that over a third (39%) of tea drinkers saying that they have no idea of other countries’ tea-drinking traditions, and positively, almost half (48%) are interested in discovering more.  

To find out how to join in and show solidarity with refugees, whether from home, in person at one of the Cuppa Hope cafes or on social media, pop the kettle on and visit 

 – Ends – 

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2229 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21st – 22nd May 2024.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+). 

For further media information, please contact –  [email protected]   

Notes for Editors 

Cafe event details: 


  • Location: CaffA, The Albany, Douglas Way, London SE8 4AG 
  • Date: Wednesday 19th June 
  • First bookable session – 10:30am to 12pm 
  • Second bookable session – 1pm to 2:30pm 


  • Location: Kunafa, 150 Thornton Rd, Bradford BD1 2JH 
  • Date: Thursday 20th June 
  • First bookable session – 10:30am to 12pm 
  • Second bookable session – 1pm to 2:30pm 

 Refugee Storytellers: 

  • Hessam (he/him): Hessam works in digital marketing, earning several awards and roles on various judging panels. His family’s journey from Afghanistan to the UK is detailed in “The Boy with Two Hearts,” co-authored with his brother, which has been adapted later into a successful play in Europe. Beyond his professional work, Hessam served as a Governor for University Hospitals Bristol & Weston (2019-2022) and is an ambassador for the Daring to Dream charity, supporting multiple causes. His contributions in digital marketing and storytelling continue to inspire and influence many, showcasing the impact of determination and innovation. 
  • Mouhyedin (he/him): Mouhyedin is a Syrian refugee, chef and restaurateur who founded Falafel Fella, an authentic vegan-friendly restaurant inspired by the tastes of his homeland.    
  • Tania (she/her): Tania is the mother of Daniel, a 10-year-old Ukrainian boy. They fled Kyiv due to the war with Russia and settled in the UK, where she advocates for Ukrainian refugees. She works with a local charity, coordinating community support for refugees. With a master’s in clinical psychology and business experience, she co-founded the 2BWell CIC initiative to support the mental wellbeing of Ukrainians affected by war and displacement. 
  • Teem (he/him): Teem is from East Africa. He enjoys cooking, socializing with friends, travelling and hiking. He tries to keep himself active in any refugee-led activism work and supports where he can. He also loves a good night in with Netflix. 
  • William (he/him): William is a British-Bangladeshi based in North Yorkshire. He is a dedicated anti-racism campaigner and advocate for the rights of displaced people in the United Kingdom. He actively engages in anti-racism initiatives both locally and nationally. William is not only an author and freelance journalist but also a human rights defender, poet, researcher, and a person from a refugee background. 
  • Yana (she/her): Yana, a 31-year-old Ukrainian refugee, owns NENYA Fashion Limited Company, which promotes Ukrainian products internationally, bolstering the economy during tough times. With a background in women’s wear and premium lingerie design, Yana is a prominent figure in fashion and international distribution. She holds a Master’s degree in finance, enhancing her business acumen. Passionate about sports, travelling, cooking and reading, Yana’s diverse interests fuel her entrepreneurial spirit. Through NENYA Fashion, she elevates Ukrainian fashion and supports her homeland’s economic and cultural presence globally. 

About UK for UNHCR:  

UK for UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency’s national charity partner for the UK. We build solidarity, create partnerships, and raise funds across the UK to help deliver global humanitarian relief for refugees through UNHCR’s work.  

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. It delivers lifesaving assistance like shelter, food and water, helps safeguard fundamental human rights, and develops solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. UNHCR also works to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality. 

UK for UNHCR is a registered charity in England and Wales (registered charity number 1183415). 

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