Photo by Alessandra Kocman
Refugee Resettlement in Suffolk
Suffolk has been taking part since 2015 in the UK’s refugee resettlement programmes, offering protection to vulnerable refugees, in family groups, from camps in the Middle East and North Africa. Suffolk Refugee Support has been engaged by Suffolk County Council to provide specialist casework – from greeting families on arrival to orienting them in all aspects of UK life – and to be the primary link with other agencies and support services. We’re very pleased that Suffolk has also committed to taking part in the UK government’s new global resettlement scheme.
As of April 2021, we have welcomed around 130 people to Ipswich under the schemes. Despite all they have been through and the complex needs by which they were selected for resettlement, the families are settling in well and starting to rebuild their lives with our support. Some are working or setting up their own businesses, including two Syrian refugees who have been a valuable part of the staff team at Suffolk Refugee Support in recent years. Others are volunteering, including one young Syrian who has dedicated himself to welcoming other refugee families arriving in Suffolk and who won the Suffolk High Sheriff’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 2020. Children are excelling in their studies and winning school awards, many speaking good English just months after arriving knowing barely a word, while young adults are starting university in the UK having worked extremely hard to get their English to a high enough standard and to catch up on lost studies. We have even welcomed the first babies born to resettled families, with these new arrivals representing hope for the future.
Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of these people who have been through so much. We have been overwhelmed by the generous response and goodwill of the local community towards the families arriving in Suffolk. You can keep up-to-date with the latest refugee resettlement news by signing up to our mailing list in order to receive our newsletter, or by following us on Facebook where we also post updates and appeals.