24 February 2017
The Government has thanked Sheffield Council for its role in supporting the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the UK.
Sheffield has settled 96 Syrian refugees under the government’s Vulnerable Persons Resettlement (VPR) scheme since last year with Yorkshire and Humberside resettling a total of 594 since 2015.
Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill MP said: “The support of Sheffield and other local authorities has been paramount in helping us resettle so many vulnerable people who have fled conflict”.
Sheffield has been housing Syrian refugees with support from central government, with funds for the first year of resettlement using the overseas aid budget. The VPR scheme is voluntary, but Sheffield is one of over 200 local authorities who have put themselves forward to house refugees. Additional government funding has also been provided for English language help for Syrian families to improve their English language skills; in order to help them find work, gain independence and give back to the communities that welcomed them in.
Councillor Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for housing at Sheffield City Council, said:
“Sheffield is a welcoming and inclusive city and it’s important that we do our bit to respond to the refugee crisis. It’s important to remember that the people we are taking are not economic migrants, they are not seeking to come to the UK with dreams of making more money, they are refugees fleeing war, persecution and poverty and in desperate need of help.
I am proud of our City of Sanctuary status and that we were the first local authority to welcome refugees when the Gateway programme started, and we’re pleased we’ve been able to help people build new lives in Sheffield and escape desperate situations”
“We’re being careful in our work and offering support to the number of people we know we can effectively help. We are working hard with our partners to make sure the government understands what work we have to put in to support refugees and of the financial help we need to do this.
“We will continue to support, where we can, refugees and to press the Government for the finances to do this.
“We are lobbying the Government to continue to support and give refuge to the most vulnerable refugees, including those children and young people who gain access to the country via the so-called Dubs amendment.
“As a country we must not turn our back on these vulnerable and unaccompanied children and young people in the camps of Europe. If there is no safe and legal route for children to take, in desperation they may attempt to be smuggled into the country which plays right into the hands of the people smugglers.
“We call on the Government to reinstate the Dubs amendment immediately. Our council will continue to offer what support we can but we need funding from the government to support us to do this”.
Notes to editors- (from the Home Office)
- The data tables on the number of arrivals via the VPR scheme can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-october-to-december-2016-data-tables
- For any follow-up questions, please contact our news desk on 0207 035 3535.