County to house more Syr­ian refugees

Derby Telegraph - - NEWS - Ed­[email protected]­plc.com @Ed­dieBisk

THE num­ber of Syr­ian refugees be­ing sent to Der­byshire is to be in­creased by a third.

The county has pro­vided a home for 81 refugees from Syria since Novem­ber 2016, a num­ber which is set to rise to 98 by April this year.

Now, an ad­di­tional 30 refugees are to be taken, tak­ing the to­tal to 128 by April 2020.

Case­worker sup­port for the fam­i­lies is pro­vided by Up­beat Com­mu­ni­ties, a Derby-based char­ity which spe­cialises in work­ing with refugees and asy­lum seek­ers.

Der­byshire County Coun­cil agreed to house 30 ex­tra Syr­ian refugees at a meet­ing on Thurs­day, Jan­uary 10.

The au­thor­ity has pro­duced a re­port en­ti­tled Syr­ian Vul­ner­a­ble Per­sons Re­set­tle­ment Scheme for Der­byshire which says: “The fam­i­lies who have been re­set­tled in Der­byshire have been warmly wel­comed and are mak­ing a con­tri­bu­tion to their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

“When com­pared to na­tional and re­gional fig­ures, the fam­i­lies in Der­byshire are achiev­ing bet­ter out­comes. For ex­am­ple, 20 of the 30 adults re­set­tled are reg­u­larly vol­un­teer­ing in a va­ri­ety of roles, all fam­i­lies are in­volved in lo­cal groups, three in­di­vid­u­als are now in work, in­clud­ing one of the Septem­ber 2018 ar­rivals, and all have agreed that Syr­ian cit­i­zens walk in front of build­ings de­stroyed dur­ing a bat­tle in their coun­try’s bit­ter civil war their lo­cal area is a place where peo­ple from dif­fer­ent back­grounds get on well.”

In May 2016, the county coun­cil set up two job roles to co-or­di­nate place­ments and sup­port, these are now set to be ex­tended up un­til March 2022.

In Septem­ber 2015, the Prime Min­is­ter an­nounced that the UK would ac­cept 20,000 Syr­ian refugees by 2020.

Gov­ern­ment fund­ing is avail­able for a five-year pe­riod to sup­port fam­i­lies re­set­tled un­der the scheme. This is paid on a slid­ing scale, from £8,520 in year one to £1,000 in year five.

The re­port says: “This will en­able the coun­cil to con­tinue to sup­port the ex­ist­ing fam­i­lies in Der­byshire and take care of the ar­rival prepa­ra­tions and sub­se­quent ar­range­ments for fu­ture fam­i­lies.” It re­it­er­ates that the ex­pe­ri­ence seen by the fam­i­lies housed in the first 24 months is that of an im­prov­ing sit­u­a­tion and pos­i­tive re­cep­tion from lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. Refugees will be taken di­rectly from camps in the coun­tries neigh­bour­ing Syria through a con­trolled form process via the Home Of­fice and the United Na­tions High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Pri­or­ity is be­ing given to peo­ple who can­not con­tinue to live safely in their own coun­try. These in­clude women, chil­dren and young peo­ple at risk, peo­ple in se­vere need of med­i­cal care, sur­vivors of tor­ture and vi­o­lence, refugees with med­i­cal needs or dis­abil­i­ties and peo­ple at risk due to their sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion.

Refugees will be granted a fiveyear hu­man­i­tar­ian pro­tec­tion visa. This will al­low them to ap­ply for jobs and any wel­fare ben­e­fits they may be en­ti­tled to in the same way as other Der­byshire res­i­dents, in­clud­ing health­care and ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion.

In ad­di­tion, Der­byshire County Coun­cil has signed up to the Na­tional Trans­fer Scheme, which means it will ac­cept up to 97 un­ac­com­pa­nied and asy­lum-seek­ing refugee chil­dren from ar­eas such as Syria, Afghanistan and Er­itrea. Re­port

The fam­i­lies who have been re­set­tled in Der­byshire have been warmly wel­comed.

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