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Syrian Refugee Crisis
The District Council has received calls and contact through social media from concerned residents asking how they and the District Council can help.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council is continuing to work towards welcoming the Syrian refugee families through the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme and the first two families are anticipated to arrive in Stratford-upon-Avon in late November.
Following a decision by the District Council's Cabinet in December 2015, twelve families will be resettled from refugee camps, into the town of Stratford-upon-Avon over the next four years.
Work is underway with local schools and higher education providers, GP's, Warwickshire County Council and voluntary and community sector organisations to ensure the smooth integration of these families.
Stratford town has been selected as there is sufficient capacity for these families with minimal impact on resources and because services are available more readily, including adult English language classes, good public transport links and a welcoming and supportive community.
Experienced support workers and interpreters will provide intensive support for the families on arrival, assisting them to engage with services, settle into neighbourhoods and help them and their children to hospitals appointments, enrol at schools/nurseries and access other important services.
In addition to these more formal support networks, a befriending service with the support of the local church groups and volunteers will give the families access to information that make life easier including, places to shop and socialise, places of worship, local groups and local activities that they may wish to be part of.
As part of the resettlement process all households considered for resettlement are needs assessed and security vetted by a number of refugee assistance, government, military agencies and local residents should be reassured that these refugee arrivals represent some of the most vulnerable households, who cannot continue to live in refugee camps.
The current priority for the District Council is to identify housing in Stratford Town for these families.
Cllr Robert Vaudry, Housing and Infrastructure Portfolio says: “Most local residents will be familiar with the terrible situations many refugees from the conflict in Syria are experiencing. The District Council is very happy to be playing its part in this UK wide humanitarian effort to provide sanctuary to the most vulnerable families through the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme. I hope that these families feel welcomed by the local community, integrate successfully and come to enjoy living in Stratford-upon-Avon."
I would encourage anyone wishing to be involved in the integration of the refugee arrivals make contact with Carol Roberts, Policy Officer, Stratford-upon-Avon District Council. firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is hugely reassuring to know that there are so many local people committed to the effort to resettle these refugee families, and I thank you for your previous interest.
The District Council's Cabinet has also pledged to offer support to the current refugee crisis and agreed the following:
- The District Council will create a collection centre for charitable gifts and help co-ordinate others that are also doing the same.
- To provide an information sheet for those keen to help.
- Signpost those who may be able to accommodate any refugee families and empty holiday accommodation.
- Use resources to support government initiatives.
The District Council is interested in hearing from and working with any individuals or local organisations that are organising collections, in order to signpost residents willing to make suitable donations. If you are organising a collection please contact the District Council on 01789 267575.
The District Council organised some fundraising amongst staff, holding a Dress Down Day and cake sale on Friday 18 September 2015 and raised a total of £346.
Here are a few other websites also offering help: