Council reinforce commitment to Syrian refugees
Posted on 23 Aug 2019
NORTH Ayrshire Council has extended its support to Syrians caught up in the humanitarian crisis in their trouble-hit homeland.
Elected members are set to agree to provide homes to a further 40 refugees at a meeting of Cabinet on Tuesday.
North Ayrshire Council was one of the first Scottish local authorities to respond to an urgent request from the UK Government and COSLA in 2015 to help provide safety and sanctuary for those displaced from Syria.
The latest Syrians are expected to be in homes by March 2020 – meaning the Council has supported over 200 since the resettlement programme began four years ago.
Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “Fairness and equity are at the core of what North Ayrshire Council is about and these values know no international borders.
“The refugee crisis, with the displacement of millions of families caused by war and conflict across the globe, is one of the biggest moral and humanitarian challenges of our time.
“We are proud of our resettlement programme which has given a second chance at life to Syrians who have experienced things that are unimaginable to you and I.
“I am absolutely delighted to welcome the Syrian families into North Ayrshire. The transition for them can be hard but, as a Council, we have worked extremely hard to make sure they feel welcome and secure in their new homes.
“This is a joint effort from our partners across North Ayrshire and various teams within the Council who provide assistance and support to the families.
“But I must personally thank the people of North Ayrshire and our close-knit communities who have made them feel very welcome. Our communities know that these are people – people who are in desperate need of protection, support and love. You have welcomed them into our community and helped them integrate. I know there will be a vocal minority on social media who oppose our humanitarian efforts but I also know that the majority will welcome our new families with love, care and kindness over the coming months and for that I am eternally grateful.”
To date, the Council has accommodated 31 Syrian families, a total of 150 refugees - 56 Adults and 94 children. More are set to move in next month and then the final 40 Syrians will arrive in North Ayrshire over the following six months.
All children of school age are engaged in education and adults receive language tuition; English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) is provided by the Council.
The Council’s Employability and Skills service will continue to support the Syrians to develop their language and vocational skills to support them to move into further education, training and or employment.
The Resettlement Programme is funded entirely from Home Office grant funding.