Tuesday, 26 October 2021

District accepts more refugees

District accepts more refugees

THREE more Afghan refugee families are to be resettled in South Oxfordshire.

The district council has already accepted one family while neighbouring Vale of White Horse District Council has taken four..

The Government has issued an urgent appeal to local authorities for assistance in resettling families fleeing Afghanistan after it fell back under the control of the Taliban.

The district council will provide private rented accommodation for the families and will work with the county council and health bodies to provide support with mental health, education, food and medicine.

Outgoing council leader Sue Cooper said: “Alongside our partners, we have worked quickly to ensure we can play our part in helping those arriving from Afghanistan. 

“We have agreed to support a further three families and I’m sure the people of South Oxfordshire will welcome them into the district and help to ensure they settle well and become valued members of our community.”

Meanwhile, Sam Jonkers, from Lower Assendon, has been helping efforts to support refugees, co-ordinating donations of clothes, shoes, sanitary proucts and mobile phones.

She is the regional lead for the Care4Calais refugee crisis charity for the Thames Valley.

Mrs Jonkers, who also owns Jonkers Rare Books in Hart Street, Henley, with her husband Christiaan, said: “We are still very busy and there is still lots of work to be done.

“We are currently doing a big coat drive. We have 200 people who need a warm coat, so we are trying to get as many of those as we can. We also need suitcases.

“Warm clothing is what we need but we still don’t really have any storage. We have been offered some small spaces but what we need is somewhere things can be delivered to and we can access at any time. We have a brilliant network of individual volunteers who have offered space. 

“In the last two weeks, a lot of the children have been starting at school and we have been busy helping them. It is a lot trickier than you might think getting uniforms and school meals organised.”

For an up-to-date list of required donations or to offer storage space, email Reading@Care4Calais.org

The Government has said it will work with international partners and other countries to resettle up to 20,000 Afghan refugees in the UK, with up to 5,000 eligible for refugee status in the first year.

The councils’ participation in the resettlement schemes will be fully funded by the Government.

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