Five Syrian refugee families expected in Fife within a few weeks

Refugees coming to Fife have been living in camps on the Syrian border.
Refugees coming to Fife have been living in camps on the Syrian border.
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The first Syrian refugees are expected to arrive in Fife as early as next month.

Five families are due to be the to be re-settled in the Kingdom sometime in November, the first of around 140 Syrians expected to be given the chance to rebuild their lives in Fife between now and 2020.

It’s part of the UK Government’s agreement to take in 20,000 refugees over the next five years.

Refugees coming to Britain will be those living in camps bordering Syria.

The government has said priority will be given to vulnerable children and orphans.

Councillor Judy Hamilton, who is leading the council’s efforts to support refugees, called on communities to come together and give the Syrian families a warm welcome.

She said: “All Scottish councils are looking at what they can do to help and I’d like to thank everyone who has offered support so far.

“However this is still a work in progress.

“Discussions are continuing through COSLA and it’s vital that this whole issue is properly resourced throughout the lifetime of the crisis.

“I would call on everyone to work together, harness political will and compassion and offer safe haven to these very vulnerable people.”

Cllr Hamilton added: “There is a real need for people and organisations to pull together and make sure our response, welcome and support for our Syrian friends is as effective as possible.

“Many of these people will be very vulnerable, language will be an issue and they will need access to safe homes, health care, education and opportunities to make a living and a future.

“We are continuing to work closely with Fife Migrants Forum, across the voluntary sector, and with local organisations and partners to make sure all the expertise, knowledge and support that exists in Fife is pooled together to provide the best response in both the short and longer term.”

This year, Fife has already helped 10 Afghan refugee families re-settle in the Kingdom, and that experience will prove invaluable in helping support the Syrians when they arrive.

Cllr Hamilton said: “We are committed to helping those in greatest need and helping them to rebuild their lives here. I know local people will join me in making anyone who does settle here very welcome.”

Scotland ready for refugees

The Home Office, Scottish Government and CoSLA have asked all Scottish councils to confirm they are ready to welcome refugees.

Grants are being finalised with the Home Office which will mean there will be no cost to the councils for the refugees’ care.

Fife Council is collating any offers of accommodation and signposting people who want to help at www.fifedirect.org.uk/heretohelp