Celebrated figures in the British public eye came forward to talk about their own refugee heritage, or ‘Refugenes’, with pride. We asked them to tell their story, to try to combat the negative connotations that have come to be associated with the word ‘refugee’ and show that refugees of the past have become the fabric of British society today.

With public figures like Ben Elton, Bella Freud and Jamie Cullum telling their stories, together we tried to change the perception of refugees.

Ben Elton wrote an article for the Sunday Times, talking about how his family were accepted into the UK as refugees from Hitler’s Germany. Rita Ora spoke out for the first time about her Kosovan roots.

We also asked the general public to submit their own stories, members of their family tree who were refugees and found safety in the UK.

We’ve all got ‘Refugenes’ – do you?