David Cameron has announced that 1000 Syrians are now safely here in the UK and Refugee Action are delighted to be working in Islington and Birmingham to welcome some of those refugees as they settle into their new surroundings.
Drawing on over 30 years’ experience of refugee resettlement, Refugee Action believes that fostering independence among refugees is the key to effective and sustainable resettlement.
In Islington, we are currently providing a two-week intensive orientation programme, equipping families and individuals with essential advice that will help them settle in to their new community.
Staff and volunteers are helping the new arrivals to understand all the essentials that other Londoners might take for granted; from navigating their way around London using an Oyster card to setting up utilities and registering with their local GP.
For the following two months Refugee Action will be working with Islington Council and their ‘Families First’ service to help ensure the new arrivals are able to resettle properly in Islington.
In Birmingham, we are working with the Council, the British Red Cross and Spring Housing to welcome refugees to their new homes. Initially Refugee Action will support families and individuals to navigate practicalities like registering with their local GP and enrolling children in to local schools.
Longer term, and in partnership with local groups and other charities like Freedom from Torture, we will empower refugee families and individuals to properly integrate within their local communities. This work includes helping clients to understand the job market and identify employment opportunities, helping them overcome trauma and signposting them to language courses.
Refugee Action chief executive, Stephen Hale, said: “The arrival of Syrians this week is thanks to the huge groundswell of public sympathy towards refugees over the summer and we are delighted to be working in Islington and Birmingham to give them the welcome and support they need.
“Our dedicated staff and volunteers will be working flat out over the coming weeks to ensure that the new arrivals are enabled to integrate meaningfully with their local communities and begin the process of rebuilding their lives in dignity.”
Notes to editors
Refugee Action has been the leading charity in Britain supporting the resettlement of refugees for over thirty years. We were established to support refugees fleeing Vietnam in 1979 and supported the resettlement of thousands of refugees from Bosnia and Kosovo in the late 1990’s. We are currently the leading provider of the Gateway Resettlement Programme in the UK.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact the Refugee Action media office.