The first refugees from Afghanistan have arrived in Liverpool as part of the UK Government’s resettlement programme.
Around 100 people, including families and single people, are being accommodated at a hotel in South Liverpool, having completed a Covid-19 quarantine period elsewhere in the UK.
The refugees are now being given welfare support by Liverpool City Council, the Home Office and other partners, and will be supported with other needs such as education and healthcare, over the coming days and weeks.
All of the Afghan nationals will remain at the hotel until suitable, permanent accommodation is found for them, which could be elsewhere in the north west, as well as across Liverpool City Region.
Councillor Abdul Qadir, Cabinet member for Neighbourhoods said: “We have all been moved by the plight of the Afghanistan people who have literally been fleeing for their lives.
“Liverpool is pleased to be playing its part in housing a number of Afghan refugees.
“They have been through a very traumatic period, but I know the people of this city will make them very welcome during their time here.”
The cost of the resettlement scheme is fully funded by the Home Office.
People wanting to support the refugees, such as by donating items, are asked to do so through the refugee support organisations in Liverpool. All details can be found on the council’s website.
I have a spare room and can accommodate a refugee
Resettled refugees coming to the UK, such as from Afghanistan, are allocated their own property. However, the offer of a room is very much needed for other refugees, such as those who have recently been granted status and are waiting for more permanent accommodation, or people who have been refused asylum.
If you have a spare room available, you can host a refugee via a charity called Refugees At Home. They offer placements to refugees in the UK who need a place to live temporarily, and support placement hosts to find someone who is a right fit for them. They are looking for hosts with spare rooms in the Liverpool and the wider Merseyside area. They have a wealth of information about becoming a hosting on their website, as well as on their Facebook page.
If you are a looking to let your property then you can contact Liverpool City Council’s Housing Options Service Rehousing Team, who support newly granted refugees to secure permanent accommodation. Please contact the Team by email: Housing.OptionsRe-HousingTeam@liverpool.gov.uk, particularly if you have a larger property with more than four bedrooms.
You can also contact Serco, who provide the asylum accommodation in the north west on behalf of the Home Office. They are regularly looking for homes to rent so they can house people seeking sanctuary. Their Partnership Manager in Liverpool is Ged Swanson Ged.Swanson@serco.com, he will be able to signpost you to their procurement team.
I want to volunteer to help with resettling and supporting refugees
Families that arrive in the UK on the resettlement scheme will be fully supported by a team from the resettlement organisation.
However if you are looking to volunteer with refugees and asylum seekers, the Our Liverpool team post regular volunteering opportunities, as do Merseyside Refugee Support Network and the British Red Cross.
I want to offer work experience and employment opportunities to refugees
If you are an employer and have employment or work experience opportunities for refugees we would be keen to link you with our Refugee Employment Officers. You can contact email@example.com
I want to donate clothes or money to support refugees