A TOTAL of 85 people in 18 families from Syria and other countries have so far been resettled in Cambridge as part of Cambridge City Council’s response to the government’s commitment to resettle 20,000 refugees.
Cambridge City Council had earlier pledged to resettle at least 100 people fleeing wars in Syria and elsewhere under the Home Office’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.
The council has worked closely with many volunteers, voluntary organisations and housing providers to help the newcomers with the major transition of settling in Britain and Cambridge.
As part of the council’s overall budget for 2018-19, a budget was recently also agreed for a pilot scheme to ensure there is a suitable information and translation service for asylum seekers and refugees in Cambridge.
This followed a Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum survey showing the wide range of countries people come from and the significant challenges they face.
This new refugee support service will help address some of the issues affecting economic and social migrants here and will assist people resettling outside the Home Office scheme.
The council has also helped with arranging housing to resettle people, and is still seeking offers of more properties in good condition with three or more bedrooms to be let for a minimum of two years, but preferably five years.
Residents are also being asked to help newly resettled members of the community by donating cash or household items including furniture and electrical items to Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign.
A full list of items needed and how to donate is available at www.cambridgerefugees.org
The Leader of Cambridge City Council, Cllr Lewis Herbert, is speaking at the Michaelhouse Centre, Trinity Street on Monday 19 March about the city’s initiatives to help 100 refugees from Syria, and refugees from other countries, settle in Cambridge.
The free talk, at 12.30pm is part of a series of talks entitled ‘Making Refuge – Creative Responses to the Refugee Crisis.’
Cllr Herbert said: “Since the conflict in Syria started, and dating back many years before that, the city of Cambridge has offered a refuge to people fleeing conflicts and violence.
“We pledged to resettle 100 refugees under the Home Office programme and are now well on our way to meeting that target, with the help and support of residents, volunteers and local groups including the Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Programme, Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum and Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action Group.
“Having met many of the families, I know how well they are settling in. I am proud that our community in Cambridge has welcomed them so warmly into our city, and is helping give the families a brighter future here than is sadly still the case in Syria or their own countries.”