SYRIAN REFUGEE CRISIS
Syrian Refugee Resettlement Programme
The Civil War in Syria has resulted in one of the worst humanitarian crises of the 21st century. In his statement to the House of Commons on 7 September 2015, the Prime Minister announced that Britain should resettle up to 20,000 Syrian refugees over the rest of the Parliament. These will be some of the most vulnerable people affected by the conflict in Syria.
Councils across the country were asked by the Home Office to bid to take part in the scheme by agreeing to resettle a number of refugees in their area. South Gloucestershire Council quickly agreed to take part in the scheme and play our part in helping those who are most in need.
We set up a project team some months ago, chaired by the Director of the department for Children, Adults and Health and including partners from the Clinical Commissioning Group, HomeChoice, Safer Stronger Communities, the Voluntary and Community Sector, Police and the Ethnic Minority and Travellers Advice Service (EMTAS).
We wanted to ensure that we fully understood the support needs of refugees arriving in South Gloucestershire and were in a position to meet those needs before we accepted anyone into our area. The learning from other Local Authorities is that Syrian refugees arrive with a multitude of needs. Examples include physical health, mental and emotional wellbeing, learning English, geographical orientation, training and access to employment.
For South Gloucestershire Council and our partners, the focus of the resettlement work is on fully supporting people to become an integral part of their communities and to develop employment skills. We have been pleased with the positive response of all partners and the commitment they have shown in responding to, and assisting with, this humanitarian crisis.
We are pleased to be able to say that we recently provided information to the Home Office to allow them to match us with a number of families under the resettlement programme and our first families are arriving at the end of September.
For more information, please go to: http://www.southglos.gov.uk/advice-and-benefits/asylum-and-immigration/syrian-refugee-support/