First group of Syrian refugees resettled in Warwickshire

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The first group of Syrian refugees have been successfully resettled in the county.

A private flight arrived at Birmingham International Airport earlier this month carrying a number of Syrian families who have now been successfully resettled around the region, including two families in Stratford, Nuneaton and Bedworth, and Rugby.

Warwickshire County Council, which has been working with district and borough councils, health groups and the voluntary sector to create a package of support for the families, said the Syrians given sanctuary here are among those who have suffered the most after the humanitarian disaster in their homeland since civil war erupted in 2011.

Many have been displaced from their homes or had their houses and livelihoods destroyed in the subsequent conflicts, the council said.

There has been an “overwhelming amount of support from local communities” to ensure the process of resettlement has been as smooth as possible, it added.

County council leader Izzi Seccombe said: “The fact the whole county has come together to provide a safe place for these families to begin to heal and rebuild lives shattered by conflict is a testament to what a fantastic place Warwickshire is to live.

“I am immensely proud that Warwickshire County Council and all our partners have pulled together to provide a comprehensive package of support to these families and that local communities have gone above and beyond to make our newest residents so welcome.

“These families can now begin their healing in a county that has always celebrated and welcomed diversity; a county that has always offered help to its most vulnerable residents; and a county that has a deep and enduring sense of civil-mindedness at its very heart.”

Councillor June Tandy, leader of Warwickshire County Council’s Labour Group, said: “These six families, now safe and sound in Warwickshire, have endured physical and emotional hardships that we would struggle to comprehend in Warwickshire.

“Their road to healing may be long and slow, however it is heartening to know they are now safe and being supported.”

Meanwhile, the Coventry & Warwickshire Mind charity is working with the county council to provide a Befriending and Support Service for refugees arriving in our county.

It is now looking for volunteers to welcome and support families to settle into their new communities.

Helpers, who will receive training, support and out-of-pocket expenses, will be matched with families.

For more details, call Denise Lindsay on 02476 632644 or email denise@cwmind.org.uk.