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SYRIA – Leeds campaign and update

We were proud to be one of the charities campaigning for UK to offer resettlement to Syrian refugees. This campaign won support across the main social and political spectrum and just on 28th January the Government announced that ‘100s of vulnerable Syrians from refugee camps’ would be offered resettlement.

Well done everyone!

We now we need to translate this into further action. City of Sanctuary has been cited as the network which can open up places of welcome at a local level.

In Leeds a petition has been circulating with the simple request:
We would like some of the resettled Syrians to come to our city.
We believe we have the experience, expertise, good will and desire to welcome that is needed.

The organisers believe the council and local MPs will add their voice and approach the Home Office. Discussions are going in other cities and towns.

What about yours?

Maurice Wren, Chief Executive of Refugee Council has written to us, saying:

“Locally-based campaigns like the one going on in Leeds is now perhaps the single most effective way to influence government to increase the numbers of refugees who are able to benefit from this programme.
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It is absolutely the best tactic and will send a powerful message that there is support at a local level as well as ensuring that there is a surplus of local authorities willing to work with the government and provide the necessary places. It would be fantastic if other Cities of Sanctuary were to follow Leeds example.”
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Andrej Mahecic from UNHCR UK has heard about our campaign and wrote to tell us that Roland Schilling, UNHCR Representative to the UK said:

“We are heartened by the readiness and interest of many communities and municipalities in the UK to receive, host, support and care for Syrians displaced by the conflict. This is crucial for the success of the recently announced UK government’s plan to provide protection to some of the most vulnerable Syrians. We hope many more communities across the country will voice their willingness to welcome these traumatised and vulnerable refugees and help them to restore their dignity and hope.”

If you believe there is scope for welcoming some Syrians in your city, and you’re not sure of the next steps, please get in touch and we will help you. A template for press release and / or letter to your councillors and MPs is attached.

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Template for Syria Press Release and letter 26 KB