20th Jan, 2018

Meeting on how to welcome Syrian refugees in the district

Stratford Editorial 18th Jun, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

WELCOMING refugees to Stratford district will be the focus of a meeting next week.

Members of Stratford District Council voted unanimously in December in favour of working with the Home Office to help accommodate up to 12 families in the district.

It comes after the Government promised to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees from camps in Lebanon and Jordan over the course of this parliament.

Stratford Quakers will host the meeting, which is open to anyone interested or wanting to help, on Wednesday (June 22) at their headquarters in Maidenhead Road, from 7.30pm.

Roger Matthews, from Stratford Quakers, said: “Concerned residents, local churches and organisations have been discussing how we can welcome the refugees to our town after the trauma of being driven from their homes by war.

“The recent showing of the Save the Children film about Syrian refugees – This is Exile – by the Stratford Amnesty International group confirmed for many of us the importance of providing friendship and support, especially for children.

“There will be an update on the latest plans for the resettlement of refugees by local councils and other public agencies, but more importantly, we will be able to discuss how we all can help.”

Warwickshire is expected to become home for at least 31 Syrian refugee families over the next four years.

Neighbouring Warwick District Council is set to take five families while Rugby borough has agreed to offer homes to ten families. The remaining four families will be split between North Warwickshire and Nuneaton and Bedworth councils.

The families will live in private housing rather than council-owned homes, and funds to help the refugees with rent, integration and learning English will come from central Government rather than local coffers.

In the first year, each council will receive £8,520 per adult, £13,020 per child aged five to 18, and £10,770 per three and four year-old. These payments will end in 2019.

Around 1,000 refugees have already been taken in by Christmas via 55 local authorities including Coventry City Council.

Call Roger 07792 855394 for further details about the meeting.

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