Neil Jameson CBE
An exceptional man who touched and changed the lives of so many, whose ambition and energy never faltered in supporting his passion for the fundamental aspects of human virtue – to be united with compassion towards each other.
The trustees, staff and volunteers at UK Welcomes Refugees offer our heartfelt sympathy to Neil’s family at this sad time.
Neil was the founder and former Executive Director of Citizens UK and he played a crucial role in developing the organisation from its birth in 1988 into a formidable civil society network of communities and organisations throughout the country that campaigned for social justice at local and national levels. In 1994, Neil was invited to East London to help to establish The East London Citizens Organisation (TELCO). Neil went on to help establish and sustain organisations such as the Living Wage Foundation (2001). Neil became a CBE in 2016 for ‘Services to Community Organising and Social Justice’ in in recognition for his pioneering contribution to public life. In 2018, he was awarded the Albert Medal for outstanding service to civil society by Royal Society of Arts.
Neil stepped down from Citizens in 2017 to take up a new role in advocating for asylum seekers and refugees fleeing conflicts. He helped the work of Safe Passage in opening up protected routes for the sanctuary of unaccompanied minors following the Syrian crisis. Following his role in assisting Citizen’s establish their Sponsor Refugees initiative he went on to found UK Welcomes Refugees in 2021 to promote the resettlement of refugees by helping to grow the Community Sponsorship scheme that recognised the role of civil society in welcoming and resettling refugees.
Neil has been at the heart of the Community Sponsorship movement in the UK and globally since it started in the UK in 2016. He said, “Community Sponsorship has changed my life personally and publicly. This exciting development will give more and more citizens and their communities the privilege and mutual benefit of welcoming refugee families who are fleeing war, poverty and the climate crises a settled and welcoming home and future.”
Mark Wiggin, Chair of Trustees at UK Welcomes Refugees said, “Neil’s death on Monday 24th April came as a great shock to his family, friends and to all of us here at UK Welcomes Refugees. His mission in life was to serve others and help as many people as he could through a wonderful sense of service and by using his incredible knowledge and experience as a campaigner and advocate for better society and for a better world. His generosity of spirit and friendship touched the lives of us all. Neil will live on in our hearts. Besides all his qualities of leadership, Neil was fundamentally a very kind, positive, cheerful and empathetic human being. His work and legacy will continue on through so many of us touched by his humanity”.
UK Welcomes Refugees came into existence after months of listening and a series of discussions about community sponsorship and resettlement of refugees. We seek to promote, protect, and build a powerful Community Sponsorship and support Movement in the United Kingdom, working closely with partners, associates, and allies.
UK Welcomes Refugees mission is to campaign for a real and transparent Safe and Legal Route for refugees to take when seeking sanctuary in the United Kingdom. This is done by actively supporting Community Sponsorship of Refugees so that UK communities can play an active role in the welcome and resettlement of refugees.
We believe that it is vital to have a strong collective voice that can bring community sponsors, sponsored families, lead sponsors and the wider community sponsorship and wider resettlement family together to lead the community sponsorship movement, and build successful Community Sponsorship, Resettlement and Support schemes in the United Kingdom and across the globe.