Kirklees announces plans to welcome more than 100 Syrian refugees

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Kirklees will welcome more than 100 refugees over the next two years as part of the government’s plan to resettle 20,000 people in the country.

The 100 announced today will be in addition to the two families who will arrive before Christmas as part of the Trail blazer scheme.

Council officers and partners in the voluntary and community sector are now continuing to work on plans to secure housing and, where necessary, school places and health support.

Homes will initially be allocated through Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing or a local registered social landlord.

Coun Erin Hill, Cabinet Member for Family Support, said: “At the first opportunity, we committed to offering support to the Syrian refugees who have been through unimaginable trauma and need a safe place to live. Our priority has always been to move the refugees into safe, secure and supported housing. We have been working on this for some time to make sure we identify appropriate homes, and in the right location.

“Since then, the voluntary and community sector and council officers have really stepped up to ensure that we can welcome our share of refugees and secure them appropriate homes and the right level of support. The scheme prioritises help for survivors of torture and violence, women and children at risk, and those in need of medical care.

“Working with Migration Yorkshire and the Home Office, we are now at that point, and the first two groups will arrive before Christmas.”

Kirklees proposes to resettle 50-60 individual refugees in year one and a further 50-60 individuals in year two. This will be reviewed as we move into year two.

Government will meet the costs for years one and two for the arrivals, supporting housing management, orientation support, health and education costs. Staffing costs to cover administration of the scheme will also be met.

Coun Hill said: “I must thank all the voluntary sector groups involved. We are fortunate to have the voluntary and community sector we do in Kirklees. The Kirklees multi-agency group has been working closely together for some time – and while they are working to capacity they still want to do more. We are signposting people with offers of support to that network.”

Further information on how local people can help support refugees is available on the council website www.kirkleestogether.co.uk,