Five Syrian refugee families are arriving in the Scarborough area and are being resettled in North Yorkshire as part of the government’s commitment to help refugees.
Having escaped violence and torture in their own country, they have been identified as some of the most vulnerable people and they are part of 26 families who have been resettled so far as refugees across the whole of North Yorkshire.
North Yorkshire will be resettling up to 200 Syrian refugees (40 to 50 families) through autumn 2018 in response to the government’s announcement last year that 20,000 Syrian refugees would be accommodated in Britain over the lifetime of the current Parliament.
This small number of families are being settled across the county including in Harrogate, Skipton, Selby and Scarborough.
Funding for the resettlement scheme comes from central government and the refugees who are arriving have been specifically selected and vetted by the Government, in conjunction with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), prior to their arrival.
North Yorkshire County Council and Scarborough Borough Council have worked closely along with the police, NHS clinical commissioning groups and the Refugee Council to prepare for their arrival. The Refugee Council is helping the refugees with language support, access to services such as GPs and integration into the community. This support will be in place for a year, but will be most intensive in the first few weeks.
The Refugee Council is also working with local volunteers to provide longer-term befriending support to ensure that the refugees can become independent as quickly as possible. The County Council is providing English language support.
Councillor Carl Les, leader of North Yorkshire County Council, said: “We welcome these new arrivals to the county and, thanks to thorough preparation by the organisations involved, are confident that their settlement and integration will be as smooth as possible.
"They are being supported by local volunteers as well as public sector partners, and we are locating people in areas where there is good access to services. Having faced some truly awful circumstances, I hope that the communities of Scarborough will welcome and support these families and their children.
"The priority for the refugees, and for those supporting them, is that they settle in and start to make independent lives for themselves as quickly as possible.”
Councillor Bill Chatt, Scarborough Borough Council Cabinet Member for Public Health and Housing said: “Following our Full Council commitment in 2015 to support the Government’s efforts to help tackle the international humanitarian crisis, we are pleased that we are now welcoming this small group of Syrian refugee families to our borough and giving them the freedom the rest of us take for granted.
"We will continue to work with our partner organisations to do all we can to ensure that their integration into our community is a positive experience for them and their neighbours.
"I hope the people of the Yorkshire coast will give the families the same warm welcome that they are renowned for.”
Refugee Council Chief Executive Maurice Wren said: “The Syrian families being welcomed by Scarborough have been through horrific experiences that most people here would find hard to imagine; they’ve been forced from their homes and some of them may have lost loved ones.
“It’s hard to describe the difference being resettled in Scarborough will make to these families. At last, they’ll have somewhere safe to sleep, their children will be able to go to school and they will be able to begin rebuilding their shattered lives. The people of Scarborough should be extremely proud that they’re quietly helping transform lives by offering these families a brighter, safer future.”