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Council resettled 82 Syrian refugees across the county – here’s one story

Syrian refugee family in Dorset
Photo: Dorset Council

As part of the national resettlement scheme, with the help of charities and volunteers, Dorset Council has found homes for 82 Syrian refugees across Dorset.

The last family Syrian family to be resettled in Dorset was welcomed in March, just before COVID-19 put a halt on the scheme.

When the family arrived, generous donations from a local charity and volunteers meant their home was ready with all the essentials they needed. The charity International Care Network (ICN) met the family to set up their bank accounts, supply them with groceries and register them with essential services. Local volunteers helped to welcome the family to their new community, the children were enrolled at the local school and the parents started English lessons.

It was at this time the nationwide lockdown began. Schools closed, lessons stopped, and all non-essential contact became impossible. We needed to make sure the family continued to be informed and reassured throughout.

Dorset Council

Dorset Council helped the Syrian family by carrying out regular welfare checks, and by explaining rules and guidance in both English and Arabic.

Moreover, the family was provided with a direct contact person at Dorset Council, whom they could get in touch with to ask questions or voice any concerns.

Through Home Office funding, the family was also provided with a laptop and a phone. However, Dorset Council stated that this was a part of a greater project of providing vulnerable children with IT equipment.

Dorset Council delivered gift boxes containing donated toys, while the local community donated stationery and books and the local school provided dual language books and other learning materials.

The family was also provided with an English teacher, who did a remarkable job of adapting their course and materials so that they could continue their education online, while the ICN provided support on the phone and through WhatsApp.

As the lockdown has started to ease, Dorset Council has begun home visits to help the family feel less isolated. Despite being in a foreign country, the family stated that they’re keen to get involved with the local community and start working as soon as it’s possible to do so.

We’re keen to hear more success stories like this!

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