Fundraising bid launched to re-home Syrian family in Budleigh Salterton

PUBLISHED: 17:00 14 September 2018

Jo Cant, trustee of the Budleigh Syrian Community Sponsorship scheme, at a stall held during Gala Week. Picture: Contributed

Jo Cant, trustee of the Budleigh Syrian Community Sponsorship scheme, at a stall held during Gala Week. Picture: Contributed


A fundraising bid is being launched this weekend to help re-home a family of Syrian refugees in Budleigh Salterton.

An Auction of Promises being held on Saturday (September 15) will be the first event held to raise at least £9,000 to re-settle a family living in the war-torn country.

The Budleigh Syrian Community Sponsorship scheme is based on the same model adopted by a number of other West Country communities including Ottery St Mary’s ‘Abide’ project.

Budleigh scheme trustee Jo Cant attended a meeting of Abide earlier this year and thought ‘if it can work for Ottery, it can work for Budleigh’.

She added: “The problem is so awful and this country has put a lot into the Middle East and we should be actually trying to help.

“I thought let’s see if there are enough people in Budleigh to make it viable.

“I would like for one family to have an ordinary life – that is something we take for granted.”

The scheme is part of government project to get communities to sponsor a Syrian family to be re-settled in the UK.

According to the Budleigh group, the UK government has set a target of taking in 23,000 refugees by 2020 and so far around 11,000 have been re-homed.

The money raised will help the family – selected and vetted by the International Organisation for Migration and the United Nations – with language teachers, public transport, furnishings and providing interim funds while benefits claims are filed.

The group must also get their application to sponsor a family ratified by the local authorities and have accommodation for the family already sourced before they arrive.

Budleigh trustee Rachel Crosby said: “It’s about welcoming refugees in to the country in a different way. Not just through government channels.

“It’s about the whole community coming together to welcome them. Half the population of Syria has been displaced, so millions of people have had to leave their homes and the country as a whole.”

The auction of promises will take place at Temple Methodist Church, in Fore Street, from 7.30pm.

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