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Syrian refugees and asylum seekers

Refugee photo
This page will provide updates on the council's position relating to supporting Syrian refugees and asylum seekers.

22 February 2017

Herefordshire Council is working with Refugee Action to deliver its orientation and support service to help Syrian refugees settle into the county.

Refugee Action is a registered charity with 35 years’ worth of knowledge and experience in helping those who have fled persecution, violence and harassment and is at the centre of helping Syrian refugees across the UK.

The charity is looking to appoint a resettlement worker in Herefordshire to help successfully deliver the orientation and support service.

The closing date for applications is Monday 6 March and to find out more, please visit the jobs at Refugee Action webpage.


22 November 2016

We’re delighted to be working in partnership with Refugee Action and other local partner organisations to welcome and resettle the first of our Syrian refugee families into the county this month.

Refugee Action will be working with our refugee families to provide personalised support, which will enable them to access English language lessons, health and education services, whilst offering practical advice and guidance and helping them to develop an understanding of their local area.

Councillor Patricia Morgan, Cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “We’re pleased to welcome our first Syrian refugee families this month. The council and local partner organisations have worked incredibly hard over the past months to ensure everything is in place to help and support the families to quickly settle into Herefordshire life.

“I am also delighted to be working with Refugee Action. The charity has 35 years’ worth of knowledge and experience in helping those who have fled persecution, violence and harassment and are at the centre of helping Syrian refugees across the UK, so will prove to be an invaluable asset in helping to successfully resettle our refugee families.”

Louise Calvey, head of resettlement at Refugee Action, said: “Our dedicated staff and volunteers are looking forward to working closely with our Herefordshire partners to ensure these individuals and families, who have faced unimaginable horrors, are supported to rebuild their lives with dignity.”


19 September 2016

Herefordshire Council is working with Refugee Action to deliver its orientation and support service to help Syrian refugees settle into the county, when they start arriving in November.

Refugee Action is a registered charity with 35 years’ worth of knowledge and experience in helping those who have fled persecution, violence and harassment and is at the centre of helping Syrian refugees across the UK.

The charity is looking to appoint a resettlement manager and two resettlement workers in Herefordshire to help successfully deliver the orientation and support service.

To find out more, please visit the jobs at Refugee Action webpage or select the individual job titles.

9 September 2016

Following a full procurement process, the council has selected Refugee Action to deliver its orientation and support service to help Syrian refugees settle into the county, when they start arriving in November.

Refugee Action is a registered charity which has been helping those who have fled persecution, violence and harassment for 35 years. The organisation is at the centre of helping Syrian refugees across the UK and will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the county.

To find out more about how to get involved and help refugees settle into the county, visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk/refugees.


15 August 2016

Can you help refugees settle into Herefordshire later this year?  

There’s different ways you can help, simply visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk/refugees to find out more about interpreting, teaching English, fostering, donating household items and volunteering.


9 May 2016

Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet has today (Monday 9 May) approved the procurement of an orientation and support service for Syrian refugees settling in Herefordshire.

The council has agreed with the Home Office that it can support up to 60 Syrian refugees (approximately 18 families) from September onwards.

A formal procurement exercise will now commence to identify a provider to run the service for two years at a maximum cost of £540,000; which will be paid for by the Home Office.

The service is expected to provide assistance to refugees with settling into local communities, finding employment, enrolling children in schools, interpreting and translating, registering with GPs and meeting religious needs.

To find out more, please read the full support services for Syrian refugees in Herefordshire Cabinet report.


2 March 2016

Herefordshire Council is working with the Home Office to play its part in a practical and responsible manner for the resettlement of Syrian refugees and other asylum seekers.

The council has indicated to the Home Office that as part of phase two of its vulnerable persons relocation scheme for Syrian nationals, it will be in a position to support up to 20 Syrian families from late summer 2016.

The refugees will be those currently residing in camps in countries neighbouring Syria and priority will be given to women and children at risk, people in severe need of medical care and survivors of torture and violence.

The council will be commissioning a refugee support service to welcome and help them settle into Herefordshire communities. The refugees will also have access to a range of services, including health, social care, education and housing, and the council continues to work with local partner organisations and community and faith representatives to ensure key services are in place.

The Home Office is also asking local councils to take asylum seekers, whose legal status and rights to services differ significantly from those of refugees. The council is liaising with the Home Office as to how it can respond to this request, which could see a number of asylum seekers being placed in the county.

In addition, the council recognises the pressure councils elsewhere in the country are facing, in terms of supporting unaccompanied asylum seeking children and is trying to help where possible. Herefordshire Council is already supporting a small number of unaccompanied asylum seeking children within the county and has indicated to the Home Office that it will be able to support up to a further six children from the end of March.

A range of questions and answers will be available shortly.


18 September 2015

Herefordshire Council is actively working with Herefordshire’s varied communities and strategic partners to prepare the best local response to support Syrian refugees.

The council is part of the West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership, a group formed from local government, Home Office, national government, statutory, voluntary and community and private sectors to help support asylum seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants.

Ahead of this year’s International Day of Peace, which aims to highlight the importance of all segments of society working together to strive for peace, Herefordshire Council’s director for adults and wellbeing, Martin Samuels, said:

“Herefordshire Council is co-ordinating a response to support refugees from Syria in a joined up way, as this is an international problem that has many aspects. Understandably, the people of Herefordshire want to show their compassion and we have had offers of accommodation and support to refugees. We are keen to make sure there are suitable provisions made for both the local community and the relocated families, however the government is not currently anticipating the need to accommodate Syrian refugees in people's houses.

“With limited resources and available facilities, the council has been asked by the Home Office to consider how it could support a small number of refugee families from Syria, should they be placed in the county. There will be a clear need for social housing, alongside access to education, social care and health services. Officers are working across our departments to determine how best to meet refugee families’ needs, in addition to continuing the council’s work to support residents and protect the vulnerable across Herefordshire.

“It is not expected that the arrival of refugees will impact on the availability of services to Herefordshire residents. We do, however, already have a huge need for more foster carers in the county, so that children can be matched with families who best reflect the child's background and culture and be placed near to their own families, schools and communities. For those who feel they might be able to offer support, please visit www.herefordshire.gov.uk/fostering.

“We await further clarification on the needs and available support from central government, and indeed if we are to expect refugees to arrive in the county. Until we know the full extent of the Home Office’s plan, we are in a preparatory phase. I would encourage residents to support the established regional and national responses, which have been set up to provide the most effective and sustainable way of helping families who have been displaced. In collaboration with Her Majesty’s Government, the British Red Cross has set up a helpline for anyone who wants advice on the ways in which they can be of assistance to Syrians in need of protection in the UK. People can call The British Red Cross Crisis Helpline on 0800 107 8727 for more information.”