Plans are in place to help 137 Afghan refugees settle in Cumbria by the end of the year following the Taliban’s takeover of the war-torn mountain nation.
Cumbria County Council has confirmed Allerdale, Eden, Barrow, South Lakeland and Copeland will all house 16 individuals and Carlisle has pledged to resettle 57 people.
The county council is still waiting for further details from the Government about the new resettlement programme they are developing to support refugees coming from Afghanistan, but the Home Office has promised £20,520 to integrate each refugee – amounting to almost £3million for Cumbria.
To date, four families, who are Afghan Ministry of Defence Translators, have been resettled under the Afghanistan Relocation Assistance Policy in Cumbria.
Cumbria has played its part by welcoming refugees since 2017, responding with a collective county-wide multi-agency approach. Cumbria County Council is the lead authority acting on behalf of the Cumbria Leaders Board. This was agreed at the County Council Cabinet meeting on December 15, 2016.
More than 250 individuals have now been resettled across Cumbria since then.
Cumbria County Council also agreed to offer support to Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC), as part of the Government’s National Transfer Scheme.
How you can help
Offers of support will be coordinated centrally to ensure they are used as effectively as possible and can include a wide range of things such as children’s toys and books, clothes, befriending and a variety of goods and services.
Cumbria County Council knows that community groups and local volunteers are keen to offer support. Refugee action groups have been established in many parts of the county and play a critical role in supporting families in the county and beyond.
If you would like to make an offer of support this can be done using the online form available here or telephone 01228 221100.
Cumbria Community Foundation also operates the Welcome Fund which refugees can apply for support.
Support for children and young people in need
Young, unaccompanied refugees are vulnerable and may be traumatised following their experiences. Some may need a foster placement in a loving home as they start to rebuild their lives.
For more information about how you could support children and young people in need, visit the Fostering website.
Please note that not all children who need a foster place will be refugees.
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