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Welcoming Vulnerable Families Fleeing Danger
Welcoming and Supporting Refugees from Afghanistan
For five years Mothers Union Norwich Diocese has been supporting vulnerable families who are cleared by the UNHCR to come to Britain from the borders of Syria, through the Home Office scheme. We work in partnership with the County Council. We are also committed to help families escaping from Afghanistan. We have to date helped 3 such families who have come to Norwich.
Simon Shreeve, Manager of the award-winning ‘People From Abroad’ Social Work Team, wrote to Mothers’ Union in July:
“You may be aware the UK has pledged to receive 3,000 people from Afghanistan by the end of August. These people were previously supporting the military operations there and are now at risk (from the Taliban, due to them being perceived to be traitors) due to the British withdrawal from the country. Local authorities were asked by the government to do all we can to support the relocation of these people – we are proud to offer our support and we’ve had several offers of accommodation for them.
“Obviously each property we are given comes with a whole host of tasks to get it ready before families can arrive. We’re going to need all the help we can get to deal with the additional pressures of the Afghan scheme. We very much pride ourselves in ensuring the properties are as homely as possible for each arriving family, and the support and assistance we get from Mothers’ Union really does help us to achieve that outcome.
“When weary travellers arrive at their new homes it is always a pleasure to see the delight on the faces of the parents and the excitement of the children as they explore their new homes and can relax in the knowledge that they have arrived safely.
“Of course, that’s only the beginning of their resettlement journey and a lot more work and support is required after that. Getting the first step right is crucial and we are indebted to Mothers Union members and supporters for all the help they offer us, and the flexible response that comes with it. We’ve got lots to achieve before the next families arrive but I am confident with MU’s support, we will achieve it.”
Please keep these families in your prayers as they prepare and travel; the Social Workers who are doing everything needed in Norfolk and those members of the Mothers’ Union who are raising funds for the new bedding they provide for every member of these little families.
If you feel inspired to help support these efforts with your time, Mothers’ Union invites help for the small team that buys the bedding and makes up the beds. You will need to be Norwich-based and keep confidential the settings found for our new neighbours. Please contact Jenny via the Mother’s Union Office – 01603 882330.
Words by Jenny Holcombe, Trustee, MU Project Development