Home Coronavirus: Community response Knowsley ready to welcome Syrian refugees

Knowsley ready to welcome Syrian refugees

by Gemma Melling

Knowsley Council has reaffirmed its commitment to welcoming its fair share of refugees from Syria under the Government’s resettlement scheme.

Over the next four years, Knowsley has offered to resettle up to 50 Syrian refugees after receiving assurances from Government about the financial support available to assist this.

All authorities in the City Region have committed to play their part in the programme, which will offer homes to vulnerable people who have been forced to leave the troubled country.

When will the refugees arrive in Knowsley?

At this time there is no definite timescale. Knowsley Council is working with the other authorities in the City Region to agree a joint approach to identifying suitable properties across all the areas. At this time we are working towards a possible date of late summer before the first families or individuals move into their new homes.

Preparations underway

In anticipation of the arrival of the refugees, Knowsley Council has already begun working with partners in the public, private and voluntary sector to ensure that the proper support is in place for those who need it. This might include school places, health services, translation, emotional and practical support to help them adjust to life in the UK. Regular meetings are being held involving all the agencies who can offer help and support to give the refugees a warm welcome.

Willing to help

“The willingness of all the agencies involved – from the council to other public sector providers, charities and community groups – has been extremely positive with everyone keen to do what they can to aid the transition of the refugees and help them adjust to a new life here.

Justin Thompson, Asst. Executive Director of Neighbourhoods at Knowsley Council, said: “As a council we have committed to welcoming our fair share of refugees from Syria under the Government’s resettlement scheme. We are already working with a wide range of partners to ensure we are fully prepared and able to meet their needs as and when they move into the borough.

“The willingness of all the agencies involved – from the council to other public sector providers, charities and community groups – has been extremely positive with everyone keen to do what they can to aid the transition of the refugees and help them adjust to a new life here.

“We await our first intake of refugees now that the financial support from Government is in place.”

What will be the cost to Knowsley of this?

Funding has now been agreed nationally with Government which means that the costs of resettling the refugee families will be met at a national level and not from local taxpayers.

It means that no current resident will be disadvantaged as a result of the provision of any extra services to support the Syrian refugees.

How can I help?

 If you are a community group or organisation, contact the Multi Agency Forum for more information on how to get involved.

You can also contact Knowsley Council for more information on how you can support Syrian refugees.