Devon is playing its part in meeting the UK government’s pledge to bring 20,000 of the most vulnerable refugees plus 3000 of the most vulnerable refugee children and their families from Syria and MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region the UK by 2020. We are also part of the government’s national programme to look after unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.
Resettling refugee families
Local councils working together across Devon have pledged to house over 40 refugee families through the government’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme and the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme. Since June 2016, families have arrived in Devon at the rate of just over one each month on average. Families continue to arrive when housing is ready for them. To meet our pledges, we need landlords who will rent properties to councils to house refugee families. The UK government’s resettlement programme provides funding to Councils for housing and other resettlement costs such as English classes, interpreting, cultural orientation and help into work.
Families Voices and Refugee Week
Refugee Week takes place every year globally to coincide with World Refugee Day on the 20 June. In the UK, Refugee Week is a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK and encourages a better understanding between communities.
We are proud to share with you some voices of resettled families talking about what it means to leave your home country, move and live in Devon and showing us different activities and hobbies. We have also included voices from those who are volunteering and helping families in their resettlement journey.
Looking after unaccompanied children
In summer 2016, the government set up a ‘national transfer scheme’ so that councils across the country could share the responsibility for looking after unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. These children may arrive in the UK independently or under government programmes. Devon joined the national transfer scheme from the start and has been receiving and looking after children placed with us under that scheme. We will continue to receive and look after children over the next few years in line with that commitment.
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