PLANS are well under way to help Syrian families resettle in Stratford district.
Stratford District Council voted unanimously in December in favour of working with the Home Office to help accommodate families in the district.
And at a recent meeting to discuss how Syrian families could be welcomed to the town, there was standing room only.
Carol Roberts, from the district Council, outlined how local authorities across Warwickshire were working to set up arrangements to resettle families across the county this year subject to Home Office directives.
She explained Stratford would be taking three to five families, who would all be housed in the town allowing them to be close to services and each other.
The families are expected to be housed in privately-rented accommodation – supported by Home Office funding – and she confirmed the council was working to ensure they had access to schools and health services, as well as being able to take up jobs locally.
The meeting went on to discuss what local residents and community groups might do to help the families settle in – from befriending to practical support.
And it was agreed it was also important to raise awareness more generally about Syria and the needs of those fleeing its civil war.
District council housing spokesman, Coun Robert Vaudry, who was also at the meeting, said “There is an overwhelming desire to support these families, which is testament to the welcoming nature of the community of Stratford district.
“The district council’s priority is now to secure a date for the arrival of these families.”
And Roger Matthews from Stratford Quakers, who helped to organise the meeting, added: “It was great to see such a large number of people – and such positive attitudes towards helping others.
“People put forward a number of ideas, and we agreed to set up a smaller group to work on the details of putting these ideas into practice.
“We will also be organising another general meeting to keep people up-to-date on developments – though next time we will go for a bigger venue.”
The Government has promised to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees from camps in Lebanon and Jordan over the course of this parliament.
To find out more, or to discuss ways to help, contact Roger on 07792 855394.