Photo by Alessandra Kocman
Refugee Resettlement in Suffolk
The UK government is running schemes to bring in 23,000 of the most vulnerable refugees, in family groups, from camps in the Middle East and North Africa over a period of five years. Suffolk has committed to taking 230, in proportion to our share of the UK population. SRS has been engaged by Suffolk County Council to provide specialist casework and to be the primary link with other agencies and support services.
On arrival, all the refugees are being housed in private accommodation (not council houses) in the greater Ipswich area, in order to readily access all the support services they will need.
As of September 2017, we have welcomed 77 refugees to Ipswich under the schemes. Despite all they have been through and the complex needs and vulnerabilities through which they were selected for resettlement, the families are settling in well and starting to succeed in their new lives with our support. Some are working, volunteering or setting up their own businesses, including two Syrian refugees who have become a valuable part of the staff team at Suffolk Refugee Support. Children are thriving in school and excelling in their studies, many speaking good English just months after arriving knowing barely a word. We have even welcomed the first babies born to resettled families, with these new arrivals representing hope for the future.
We have been overwhelmed by the generous response and kind gestures of the local community towards the families arriving in Suffolk. People have raised funds, donated household items, become befrienders and offered a warm welcome. As and when we need items or offers of help, we advertise for them through our Facebook page. You can also visit our Volunteer page to see what current opportunities we have to help with the scheme, or donate to our work here.