Peterborough residents offered chance to donate to Syrian refugees who will soon be in the city

Donations can be made to Syrian refugees who are expected to begin arriving in Peterborough next month.

Wednesday, 24th August 2016, 4:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 7:29 pm
Outside one of the tent schools in Syrian refugee camps SUS-160601-093359003

Twenty-three people from five families - 10 adults and 13 children - will be homed in the city as part of the Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme.

It follows a decision made this year by Peterborough City Council to resettle around 100 Syrian refugees in Peterborough over the next five years.

The resettled families have been living in refugee camps close to the Syrian border after having to flee their homes due to the country’s civil war.

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The five families will all move into private sector accommodation in the city.

Council leader Councillor John Holdich said: “We know that many residents want to welcome these five families to the city and we hope they are able to donate what they can.

“We agreed to resettle the families after receiving assurances from the Government that they would provide funding to cover all the health, social and educational costs for all individual refugees. This is in addition to them being able to access benefits, such as housing benefit.

“We believe this is the right balance to be able to help those in need without putting significant extra pressure on services in the city.”

The council has already been contacted by a number of residents offering their help

A donation list featuring household items is now on the council’s website, and a financial donation to help purchase items can be made to Rainbow Saver Anglia Credit Union Ltd.

Any additional items, or financial support, will be distributed to other Peterborough families in need.

Cabinet member Cllr Irene Walsh said: “This is an unprecedented human crisis. The city has a long and proud history ​of welcoming those that need our help and I am confident this will continue.”

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Syrian crisis is ‘worst ever’

The civil war in Syria began in 2011 following anti-government protests. It is now regarded in some quarters as the worst humanitarian crisis of all time with millions of people displaced from their homes.

In Peterborough, the Conservative-led city council cabinet has been criticised by opposition members for not agreeing to resettle more refugees.

A row also broke out during a meeting last year over the council’s response to the crisis.