HOME DE­LIGHT FOR REFUGEES

Cold weather can’t spoil warm Ruther­glen wel­come

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Dou­glas Dickie

The first Syr­ian refugees to be housed by South La­nark­shire Coun­cil have been placed in Ruther­glen, the Re­former can re­veal.

Two fam­i­lies com­pris­ing nine peo­ple ar­rived in the Burgh last Wed­nes­day and are be­lieved to be set­tling in well to their new

sur­round­ings. Both groups have come from refugee camps in Le­banon.

They in­clude four adults and five chil­dren, all un­der the age of 10.

The chil­dren are ex­pected to start school in the new year while sup­port work­ers have al­ready taken steps to in­te­grate the adults into Ruther­glen so­ci­ety.

A coun­cil spokesper­son said: “They have set­tled in really well so far.

“They are full of ques­tions, very in­quis­i­tive and keen to learn about liv­ing here in Scot­land.

“They have ex­pressed their over­rid­ing feel­ing of re­lief and are very happy to be here.

“They have told coun­cil work­ers they feel safe and se­cure in their new home, and that’s not a feel­ing they have had for quite some time.”

The refugees have been work­ing with sup­port work­ers and an in­ter­preter since ar­riv­ing in Scot­land, and have al­ready reg­is­tered with a lo­cal GP.

The fam­i­lies have vis­ited lo­cal shops as they at­tempt to es­tab­lish them­selves.

How­ever, the Scot­tish weather has al­ready taken its toll as the spokesper­son ex­plained: “Some of the chil­dren al­ready have colds.

“When they ar­rived the weather was foul. De­spite that, the kids are still happy to be here.

“They had some toys do­nated so they had some­thing to play with, and that’s some­thing they may not have had in Le­banon.

“The adults say they are very keen to get to know peo­ple and for the their chil­dren to start school.”

The spokesper­son added: “The coun­cil has been in­un­dated with of­fers of as­sis­tance and do­na­tions from res­i­dents.

“We’ve had of­fers of cloth­ing, house­hold items.

“There have also been of­fers from peo­ple who want to be­friend and as­sist them and we’re look­ing at that.”

They feel safe and se­cure in their new homes

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