Tuesday 8 September 2015
Sheffield, the UK’s first City of Sanctuary, will play its part in the resettlement of Syrian refugees as part of the UK’s response to the refugee crisis.
Councillor Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for neighbourhoods at Sheffield City Council, said: “In Sheffield we have a strong tradition of helping those fleeing persecution. We were the first authority to take part in the Government’s Gateway Protection Programme and have done so for the last 11 years. We currently have a funded agreement to resettle 130 refugees this year.
“The current situation is a great concern. So we are making an immediate offer to Government to resettle ten to fifteen families from Syria as soon as possible, and are open to further talks with them about playing our part in the future national resettlement programme. This is in addition to our current Gateway agreement.
“The support provided to people will be directly funded by Central Government. This is essential because we know, through our experiences over the last decade, that we need the resources in place to support people.”
Yesterday the Government announced that the UK will accept up to 20,000 refugees over the next five years.
People in Sheffield who want to make a donation to help support refugees can do this online through the Refugee Council at www.refugeecouncil.org.uk
The Government’s Gateway Programme, GPP, is the UK refugee resettlement programme run by the Home Office in conjunction with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR.
The GPP resettles refugees who are not able to return to their country of origin or remain long term in their host country.
In 2004 Sheffield was the first local authority to welcome Gateway refugees when the programme was launched in the UK. Over the past four years Sheffield has managed a Yorkshire and Humber resettlement delivery partnership, involving Hull City Council and The Refugee Council. The programme is funded via a direct grant agreement with the Home Office.