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Syrian refugee support

How the East Riding is responding to the Syrian refugee crisis and what you can do to help.

How is the East Riding responding to the Syrian Refugee Crisis?

In his statement to the House of Commons on 7th September, the Prime Minister announced that Britain would resettle up to 20,000 Syrian Refugees over the rest of the Parliament.  The Syrian Vulnerable Persons scheme will provide support and protection for the most vulnerable people who will be brought to the UK from the refugee camps in the countries neighbouring Syria.  Priority will be given to various groups of people including women and children at risk, people in severe need of medical care and survivors of torture and violence.

The Home Office is now working with Migration Yorkshire, based in Leeds, to ensure an effective regional response.  Migration Yorkshire is a local authority-led regional migration partnership that works with the statutory, voluntary, community and private sectors. During this immediate first phase of the Government’s response, Migration Yorkshire is working closely with those local authorities in the region who have operated resettlement schemes for many years and already have effective local networks that can accommodate and support people. 

The East Riding, along with other local authorities in the region has volunteered to join the programme and will be working with Migration Yorkshire in the coming months to plan for the resettlement of refugees and to consider the support needed including housing, education, and health and social care.  There are many details still to be agreed with government about how the scheme will run in practice and how it will be funded.  At this stage it is too early to confirm the number of refugees that we will be asked to support through the scheme.

How can I help now?

The Government has released the following information for people wanting to help:

GOV.UK - What you can do to help (external website)

If you’re not sure how best to help, there are a number of ways to get involved. Residents wanting to offer support should contact the Red Cross on their dedicated phone line on 0800 107 8727 for more information on how you can help.

You can donate items to British Red Cross charity shops. They’ve launched #ShopDrop for Refugee Crisis, where they’ll accept quality clothing, books and unwanted gifts. Money raised from goods donated to the Europe Refugee Crisis will go towards the British Red Cross Europe Refugee Crisis Appeal.

You can also donate items to Save the Children charity shops and Oxfam charity shops.

You can directly support humanitarian organisations or charities providing assistance to refugees by giving a cash donation. Cash donations enable relief agencies to cater to the specific needs of the affected population as quickly as possible. They also allow relief agencies to buy goods in the affected region, helping to regenerate the local economy.

Many international organisations are working in the UK, across Europe and in the countries refugees are fleeing from to provide aid and assistance. Recommended and experienced humanitarian relief agencies that you can support include:

How can I become a foster carer for a refugee child?

The government are not expecting the refugees arriving in the first months of the scheme to include unaccompanied children, but if you are interested in finding out more about fostering in general please see our fostering section.

I’m interested in adopting an unaccompanied refugee child?

The government is not expecting the refugees arriving in the first months of the scheme to include unaccompanied children. Even if support is given to unaccompanied children in the future it is unlikely that adoption will be an appropriate option for these children. The United Nations and other humanitarian charities advise that no new adoption applicants should be considered in the period after a disaster or from a war zone before authorities in that State are in a position to apply the necessary safeguards. This is especially true when civil authority breaks down or temporarily ceases to function.

It is not uncommon in an emergency or unsettled situation for children to be temporarily separated from their parents or other family members who may be looking for them. Moreover, parents may send their children out of the area for their safety. Premature and unregulated attempts to organise the adoption of such a child abroad should be avoided and resisted with efforts to reunited children with relatives or extended family being given priority. 

What if I have a property that could be used to house refugees?

At this point we do not know the number of refugees that may be resettled in the East Riding or their family make up. We will be looking to work with other landlords in the area to assist as required.

 

If you are a private landlord or you have a property that you are willing to consider renting to a refugee household please email details to housing.services@eastriding.gov.uk  and we will contact you once we have further information on the process for providing accommodation.