Tag: #RefugeesWelcome

Ludlow and other towns open for donations for Afghan refugees

Across the county, collections points have opened for donations of clothing and other items for Afghan refugees. Locally, Nicola North has once again stepped up to help with the latest refugee crisis. You can drop donations at Sheet Farm, Sheet Road, Ludlow SY8 4JT. Please contact Nicola beforehand for advice where to drop your donations (01584 878528) or contact her on Facebook or Messenger. A list of items needed is below, along with other drop off points across Shropshire.

Urgent call for properties in Ludlow to house Afghan refugees (updated)

Shropshire Council has joined more than 100 councils across the UK that have informed the government it will accept refugees from the current crisis and support them. Shropshire has a good track record in rehousing refugees. This crisis, like so many others, has moved so many of us to tears. Even more so with yesterday’s events at the gates of Kabul International Airport. The arrival of refugees is not a tomorrow crisis. It is a today crisis. The first refugees have arrived in the UK and thousands more will continue to arrive for days, perhaps for weeks. One of the first cohorts arrived in Hertfordshire and the local community reaction has been inspiring. What we need now is housing. It is a good deal for landlords. The government covers costs and the refuges get state support. However, offers of single rooms and shared accommodation are ruled out. Given the pressure on social housing only private lets have been previously considered but this time the council is asking its arm’s length housing association STAR to look for housing.

A year ago, I proposed that Shropshire Council set up a working party to examine how the council should react to the Syrian refugee crisis. Days later, the then prime minister David Cameron announced that Britain would take 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020.[1] The council’s cabinet agreed that Shropshire would take 60 Syrian refugees as its initial contribution towards the target. We now have 33 Syrian refugees – “Syrian Salopians” as the Shropshire Star has named them – settled in Shropshire. We are now seeking homes for around 30 more over the next few months.[2]

Shropshire Council is currently seeking a provider to support refugee families under the Syrian vulnerable person resettlement programme. Our county has only limited experience in taking in refugees. A working party of councillors and officers from the council, health, and police and fire services has been meeting to ensure that that we have the necessary support in place. I have been impressed by the methodical and careful way the working party has considered all the issues. Lessons have also been learnt from other councils. Accommodation is now being sought and ten families are expected to be resettled in the north of the county in coming weeks.

#RefugeesWelcome Public Meeting in Ludlow – Thursday 1 October

Ludlow’s Mayor Paul Draper and myself are hosting a public meeting to discuss what our community can do to help refugees during the current crisis. Please come along to talk about what you are doing and how you might be able to help. The meeting is at 7.00pm for 7.30pm at the Feathers Hotel this coming Thursday, 1 October. Donations on their way to CALAID Photos by Nicola North who is collecting locally for CALAID along with Clare Whitehead. The children’s clothes shop Smartie has been a drop off point. South Shropshire Furniture Scheme lent a driver and a van. Other donations have been made through Ludlow’s churches. Nicola tells me that collecting has finished for CALAID, and is now for Kos Kindness, Leros Kindness and Mercy Worldwide who have links to the major camps in the Greek Islands and the Middle East.

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