Dorset News | Posted: Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018 at 1:02 pm |
Dorset County Council held an event at County Hall in Dorchester to thank the volunteers who have helped refugees become part of local communities in Dorset.
Local authorities and charities, such as the International Care Network, support refugees as part of the Dorset Syrian Resettlement Programme. Since December 2016, the county has welcomed nine families and helped them find private housing, school places, jobs and local healthcare. However, it’s thanks to the kindness of local people that families are able to integrate and become part of their new local community.
Chairman of Dorset County Council, Cllr Hilary Cox, said, “I can’t imagine how scary it is to have to flee your home and start a new life – particularly for young children. We rely on volunteers to help care for these families once they’re settled here in Dorset. It’s the small acts of kindness and support with everyday tasks that make these families feel truly welcome and we’re incredibly grateful for their help.”
Steph Farr, Dorset Syrian Resettlement Programme Lead, said, “Each volunteer contributes in a different way, whether it is through language support, driving or befriending. The quality of care and level of dedication shown to these families is phenomenal. They are like extended family members and offer a great deal of comfort during a very daunting time.
“We hope to bring more families to Dorset in the future and are always looking for more volunteers. We are also looking for more private properties that can be let to families so, if you’d like to help in any way, please get in touch.”
The programme offers support to families for five years. At the end of that time they can either apply to stay in the UK for longer or choose to return to Syria if the situation has improved.
For more information about the programme, including how you can help, go to www.dorsetforyou.gov.uk/refugees
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