North Yorkshire will be resettling up to 200 Syrian refugees between now and autumn 2018 in response to the government’s announcement last year that 20,000 Syrian refugees would be accommodated in Britain over the lifetime of the current Parliament.
The first seven families, comprising 34 people, arrived in July and have been settled in Craven, Harrogate and Selby districts. From next year, refugees will also be accommodated in the other districts of North Yorkshire.
The County Council has worked closely with the district councils involved, the police, NHS clinical commissioning groups and the Refugee Council to prepare for the arrival. The Refugee Council is helping the refugees with language support, access to services such as GPs and integration into the community. This support will be in place for a year, but will be most intensive in the first few weeks. The Refugee Council is also working with local volunteers to provide longer-term befriending support to ensure that the refugees can become independent as quickly as possible. The County Council is providing English language support.
Councillor Carl Les, leader of North Yorkshire County Council, said: “We welcome these new arrivals to the county and, thanks to thorough preparation by the organisations involved, are confident that their settlement and integration will be as smooth as possible. They are being supported by local volunteers as well as public sector partners, and we are locating people in areas where there is good access to services. The priority for the refugees and for those supporting them is that they settle in and start to make independent lives for themselves as quickly as possible.”