A group of volunteers in Herne Hill, South London, has embarked on an initiative to resettle a Syrian refugee family in their neighbourhood via the Home Office's Community Sponsorship scheme.
On January 21st, Herne Hill Welcomes Refugees launched a week-long drive to spread the message about its work in the hope of finding a property for a refugee family in the local area.
Since its formation in October last year, Herne Hill Welcomes Refugees has established a network of over 100 volunteers in the Lambeth area. The volunteers have been working to ensure the Syrian family’s most urgent needs will be met on arrival. Now the group is reaching out to the wider community in the hope of finding a property to rent that the refugee family can call home.
Helen Hayes, the MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, said she was “proud” of the initiative. “Our country has a great history of welcoming refugees fleeing violence and persecution,” said Hayes.
“I am proud to see residents in Herne Hill working to support a refugee family from Syria to settle here in our community. I encourage anyone that may be interested in housing a refugee family to get in touch with Herne Hill Welcomes Refugees.”
The British government has agreed to take in 20,000 of the roughly 5 million people who have fled the civil war in Syria. However it takes time to secure them housing and support networks, and as of mid 2017 less than half this number had been accepted. In 2016 the Home Office pledged to work with community groups willing to sponsor a Syrian refugee family. Since then, community groups across the country have successfully got refugee families resettled in their area.
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