Donations of time and items needed for Syrian refugees coming to Suffolk
06:00 03 March 2016
The first Syrian refugees will arrive in Ipswich this month and donations are needed to help them rebuild their lives.
Donations needed for refugees
Double bed frames (no mattress);
Single bed frames (no mattress);
Bunk bed frames (no mattress);
Cot bed frames (no mattress);
Sofas – must have fire-resistant labels;
Car seats - booster or child seats;
Iron and ironing boards;
Baking trays; roasting tins;
Suffolk has agreed to take in up to 200 refugees from the camps surrounding Syria over the next five years.
Allison Coleman, equalities community adviser at Suffolk County Council, has confirmed that the majority of families will be homed in the greater Ipswich area.
“We started off looking at the whole of Suffolk but we decided it was not appropriate to have people scattered across the county,” Mrs Coleman said.
“We didn’t want any refugees to feel isolated so we thought the greater Ipswich area would be better.”
People coming from camps will be given refugee status from the minute they arrive in the UK, which means they will be able to work, go to school and claim benefits.
They will have the right to stay in Britain for five years, after which they will have to return to Syria, go elsewhere or apply to stay in the UK indefinitely.
Jodi Turner, co-ordinator of the Syrian Resettlement Programme at Suffolk Refugee Support, said each person who arrives in the county will be given a personal care plan according to their needs.
Most families will receive one year of intensive support to help them find school places and jobs, and they will also be assigned a ‘befriender’, which is a person in the community who will help with integration.
“We want people to be independent and be part of the community but there will be support here if they need it,” Miss Turner added.
“Initial support will be within that year but some families might find it takes longer to integrate and English will be an issue to start with also. They might pop in a few years later for something new.”
Properties will be found for the Syrian families before they arrive in Suffolk by Anglia Care Trust. These homes will be provided by private landlords so will not impact any Suffolk residents waiting for council accommodation.
The Government will cover the costs of social care for each refugee who comes to the UK over a five-year period.
Any support costs beyond that point will have to be found locally.
Additional money is also available for any school-age children with special educational needs.
The Syrian Resettlement Programme is being managed by Suffolk’s Public Sector Leaders group, which is made up of the county’s district and borough councils, police, health, community and faith organisations.
The group’s chairwoman Jennie Jenkins, said: “The people that will arrive in this county and indeed across the UK have suffered more than most of us could ever imagine. It is the right thing to do, to help those less fortunate than ourselves.
“Services across the public sector are working together to make sure that these extremely vulnerable people are well supported and cared for when they arrive in the county and I would urge communities to support in any way they feel able, either through donating their skills/time, unwanted items or money.“
Suffolk’s intake of up to 200 refugees is part of David Cameron’s pledge to resettle 20,000 people from the camps on the borders of Syria over five years.
Suffolk Refugee Support is appealing for a range of furniture and household items, as well as transport, drivers, befrienders, interpreters and more.
To find out more about how you can help, visit: www.suffolkrefugee.org.uk/syrian-refugees-how-you-can-help-2/