County Hall

Somerset steps up to support Afghan refugees

PEOPLE across Somerset have been stepping forward to help support Afghan refugees as the crisis being played out in the international spotlight deepens.

Somerset County Council is committed to help a scheme to house Afghans who supported the British military and to resettle interpreters and translators.

And local residents have been offering spare rooms, lodgings and entire houses to help out.

Somerset County Council’s leader, Cllr David Fothergill, said: “It is heart-warming and a fantastic tribute to our residents and communities.

“As a council we look forward to receiving our allocation of refugees as they arrive in this country, and I know our local residents will do us proud once again as they did with the Syrian refugees over the past few years.”

Charities and voluntary groups have also stepped forward offering children’s toys, clothing and even job opportunities.

The council anticipates the Government will fund a number of places for refugees through its resettlement programmes. These programmes have strict rules on the types and locations of suitable accommodation.

Cllr Fothergill added: “It has been an amazing response and I want to acknowledge all those who have offered their time, help and even lodgings or spare rooms.

“Sadly, we are unable to place refugees in temporary accommodation. We have had a number of very generous people offer self-contained flats and houses and that is the type of accommodation that we need.”

Most resettled Afghans will be housed in town centres where they can access specific foods, medicines and transport to link with other communities.

Anyone who would like to help in any way should contact the council at resettlement@somerset.gov.uk. The council is particularly keen to speak to private landlords with self-contained accommodation.

For more information visit: www.somerset.gov.uk/refugee-resettlement

 

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