Refugees feel part of our community
Families fleeing terror have settled into towns
More than 100 Syrian refugees have settled into life in Renfrewshire are fleeing civil war.
Families have hailed neighbours for welcoming them after they were forced to flee terror at home.
Children have escaped fighting to return to school and their parents are back in work after running from torture.
A Renfrewshire Council leadership board report revealed 28 families have been saved from the conflict devastating their homeland.
It stated: “There is now clear evidence that the Syrian families living in Renfrewshire feel part of their local communities.
“They have embraced the culture of this country and have seized opportunities to participate in local cultural events and to share aspects of their own culture with local people.
“All families are registered for and accessing the services they require.
“All children have registered and are participating in appropriate levels of early years and education.
“Intensive support is being provided for families to learn English, greatly improving their prospects for successfully integrating into their local community and for accessing t raining and employment opportunities.”
The local authority signed up to the UK government’s relocation scheme two years ago.
All refugees who are registered and resettled through the scheme arrived from camps in Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan and can stay for five years.
Priority is given to the most vulnerable, who are ill or have been widowed, or tortured and abused.
More than half of those brought to the region are children aged under 18.
Specialist counselling is provided to those displaying signs of trauma or poor mental health.
Adults have the right to work in the country and have been referred to the Department for Work and Pensions and Jobcentre to help secure employment.
They are given English lessons to help integrate into the community and boost chances of being able to contribute to the area.
Councillors have been urged to back plans continuing Renfrewshire’s participation in the relocation programme for the next two years.
Charity Refugee Action revealed most of those fleeing fighting are hosted by developing countries, with more than 2.5million seeking solace in Turkey.
Germany, Sweden and Hungary receive the most applications in Europe, with almost a million pleas for help last year – Britain sits eighth in the table.
Locals have opened their arms to those fleeing violence.
University students helped collect vital supplies for those left stranded overseas.
Bishop John Keenan urged his congregation to help refugees settle.
And Paisley MSP George Adam has pressed parliament to increase the numbers allowed to resettle.
Welcome Bishop John Keenan and MSP George Adam