Refugees feel part of our com­mu­nity

Fam­i­lies flee­ing ter­ror have set­tled into towns

Paisley Daily Express - - News - Chris Tay­lor

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

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