Budleigh charity's plea to home Syrian refugees
PUBLISHED: 13:24 31 December 2018
A desperate search for a new house in Budleigh Salterton is the biggest obstacle blocking an ambitious bid to re-settle a family displaced from their war-torn home.
The Budleigh Syrian Community Sponsorship scheme, set up earlier this year to give a family from Syria a fresh start in the area, is calling on town landlords to come forward to help.
The charity has set a goal of giving the family, displaced by conflict in their home land, a place to live in Budleigh by the end of 2019 but finding a suitable house to rent has been a ‘significant obstacle’ so far.
Jo Cant, one of the founders of the scheme, said: “The charity needs to secure suitable housing for a family before any refugees are allowed to come – this is to ensure that limited local council social housing is not used for refugees and to encourage refugee families to be financially self-supporting as soon as practical.
“Some other groups across the country have been fortunate enough to have local benefactors making suitable housing available at an affordable rent, or been able to secure community mortgages, but at present the need for suitable housing remains the most significant obstacle to the Budleigh group’s aim of bringing a family to the area in 2019.”
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.
As part of a national community sponsorship initiative, the charity must also raise £9,000 which 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.
So far the Budleigh Syrian Community Sponsorship scheme has raised more than £3,500 thanks to an auction of promises held in the town as well as the charity’s participation in Christmas fairs and street collections.
Jo added: “We’ve been overwhelmed by how generous and supportive people have been, and the huge steps we have been able to take towards reaching our target.”
Anyone wanting to donate to the scheme can click here