Dame Harriet Walter DBE


Dame Harriet Walter DBE

Olivier award-winning actress Dame Harriet Walter has appeared in such films as Bright Young Things, Sense And Sensibility, Atonement, and Onegin, and is Honorary Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company. She is passionate about supporting refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. Harriet is a key member of the West London Welcome community, volunteering at our centre each week.

“West London Welcome means a lot to me and I am proud to be a patron. I deeply admire the astonishing work that has been put in by Joanne MacInnes, Leyla Williams and all the volunteers to create a safe, practical and life-enhancing haven for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants struggling to survive in an unnecessarily ‘hostile environment’.

I am an actor by profession and for my job I need to imagine what it is like to be someone else, but everyone in the West London Welcome team does that same job in some way. Volunteers at West London Welcome think about what it must be like to have no safe permanent home, to be exiled, separated from your family, to have witnessed terrible events and undergone unspeakable suffering, and consider: ‘What would I need if I were in that situation?’. The team provides practical support, advice and help according to their abilities. But the traffic doesn’t all go one way. Many of the volunteers are refugees, asylum seekers or migrants themselves and provide invaluable help. We learn from one another. West London Welcome perfectly demonstrates how our common humanity transcends language and different backgrounds. For a start we all love food!”