Calderdale Council has pledged to welcome 50 Syrian refugees to the borough, over the next two years.
The resettlement programme in West Yorkshire is being co-ordinated by Migration Yorkshire, a regional partnership which works with national and local government, statutory, voluntary, community and private sector organisations to manage migration to the region.
The re-settlement scheme will be funded out of the Government’s Overseas Aid budget and will cover health and school costs.
Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift said:
“Over the past few days, most people have been moved by the images of the problems facing the refugees forced out of their homes by the war in Syria. That’s why Calderdale Council has agreed on a cross-party basis that we should be playing our part in helping.
“Details of the Government scheme are still coming out and we are working closely with our neighbouring councils through Migration Yorkshire to organise the West Yorkshire response.
“In Calderdale we have offered to take 50 Syrian refugees, which will be adults and families with children. We’re now making sure that all the necessary arrangements, such as housing and school places, are ready in time for their arrival over the coming months, so that they can settle quickly into their new life here.
“We’re also working with St Augustine’s Centre in Halifax, which is the main voluntary sector provider of support for refugees in Calderdale. It provides a welcoming and safe place for people, some of whom have been through unimaginable experiences, and offers them a lifeline as they begin to adjust to life in a new community.
“At the next Cabinet meeting on 12 October we will consider what immediate support we can give to our voluntary sector partners, such as St Augustine’s, which are providing such vital services to refugees in Calderdale.
“The support from local people has been overwhelming and we’re still being contacted by residents who want to help. You can visit the UK Government website, Syrian refugees: what you can do to help(external link) page for more ideas on how you can make a difference.”
The St Augustine’s Centre has launched a fundraising appeal to raise £10,000 by Christmas. You can find out more by following the hashtag #helpinghalifax on Twitter. To donate to the St Augustine’s Centre appeal visit www.give.net/20171078(external link) or to volunteer at the Centre contact them via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the local response to the Syrian refugee crisis visit the Frequently Asked Questions on the Asylum seekers and refugees page of the Calderdale Council website.