Friday, September 03, 2021
Aid to Afghan refugees part two - assistance from councils and the public in Cumbria
A majority of councils in the UK, including councils in Cumbria, have agreed to help find homes for people who had helped UK forces during our mission on Afghanistan and have been offered asylum here because as a result of helping us they were no longer safe in their own country following the Taleban takeover.
At the moment there are a small number of Afghan families who have been relocated to Cumbria and it is anticipated that there will be more who make their home here. Britain owes a debt to these people and it is right that we should help. I have seen the upper limit to the number of refugees it is proposed to take in this county - I'm not going to write it here until I have confirmation that the figure is in the public domain but it is high enough that we can say we are playing our part but not high enough to put significant excess pressure on the supply of housing in the county.
The people of Cumbria are generous to those in need and there have been many offers of help and support from the public with donations of clothing, furniture, as well as offers of rooms to accommodate new arrivals. The County Council's resettlement team is not able to process offers of goods directly and therefore, where appropriate, offers have been directed to the local third sector groups who support resettlement activity. However, some of these groups are now struggling to deal with the volume of offers.