Support for Afghan refugees pledged by Wealden District Council
With horrific scenes being broadcast daily from Afganistan, as the August 31st deadline for US withdrawal approaches, many people may be wondering what the local council have planned to help with resettlement. Wealden Council has announced that Afghan refugees arriving in the area will be provided sanctuary as it has pledged support to help those fleeing the tragic war zone.
Councillor Ray Cade, the housing and benefits portfolio holder at the authority, said, “In Wealden we are committed to playing our part in providing a safe and welcoming place for vulnerable people coming to the UK.
“We are very proud of our diverse, multicultural community and place great value on the richness people from all over the world bring to life in our district. We are also proud to have been among the first councils to commit to the resettlement scheme for refugees from Syria, in 2015, and to have supported many other refugee families to settle happily in the district.
“We are well placed to support the Afghan refugees due to our experience and success gained from resettling Syrian refugees.
“Like many other local authorities, Wealden stands ready to provide sanctuary for those fleeing the terrifying events taking place in Afghanistan, but the government must ensure we are properly resourced to provide the safe haven and specialist support that these people need and deserve.
“As we have watched the traumatic events unfold over the past week, our thoughts have been with all those affected – particularly women and girls, the LGBT+ community, civil rights activists and all others fearful of what the future may hold.
“We work in close partnership with local organisations, including the NHS, to support the health and wellbeing of refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants, and enable them to fully participate as valuable members of the Wealden community.
“However, resettlement of refugees, with the appropriate support needed to ensure they can live healthy and fulfilling lives, is a complex process that requires leadership and coordination at national level, as well appropriate funding.
“We are in discussions with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government about how we can support the emerging scheme for refugees from Afghanistan, and call on the government to ensure councils are properly funded to undertake this vital work.
Local people may wonder how they can I help?
Wealden residents who want to do something to help at this early stage can donate to the following charities:
Emergency relief charities, such as The International Rescue Committee and the British Red Cross, are still working on the ground in Afghanistan.;
Women for Women International helps female survivors of war rebuild their lives
Charities such as Care4Calais are preparing to support refugees arriving in the country by collection clothes donations
FurnitureNow supports refugees in our district
Afghanaid provide kitchen kits that allow people who have left their homes to cook and safely store food.
For more information:
Gemma Forshaw Head of housing Wealden District Council Email: Gemma.email@example.com
Councillor Ray Cade Housing & benefits portfolio holder Wealden District Council Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Annemarie Field Senior communications officer, Wealden District Council. Tel: 07985 812076 Email:Annemarie.email@example.com