Mansfield offering shelter to two Afghan families in 'immediate danger'
Mansfield is set to provide humanitarian aid to help two Afghan families with young children who were in ‘immediate danger.’
Mansfield District Council has pledged to support the two families who served alongside British troops in Afghanistan.
The first family already arrived in July, another is expected imminently.
The cost of the families’ housing, education, welfare and settlement support will be covered by the Home Office.
Mansfield is no stranger to homing refugees, it previously housed 38 Syrians, through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.
Now, as the Government prepares to resettle another 20,000 people from Afghanistan, nationwide, the Home Office said the latest resettlement programme was modelled on the VPRS scheme, which saw 20,000 Syrian refugees placed in local authority areas across the UK between 2014 and 2021.
Mansfield mayor Andy Abrahams said: "We owe a huge amount of gratitude to those who served alongside UK forces in Afghanistan.
"Due to the change in situation in the country, their lives were in real danger, having provided vital support to our troops, it is now our turn to help them.
“We are proud to be playing a part in ensuring the safety of these adults and their children. I’m sure you will join me in giving them a warm welcome to our district, where we hope they will feel at home as they work to rebuild their lives.”
Mansfield District Council has also thanked the public for “kind offers of help,” for the families, saying “at this stage there are no plans for a local appeal for donations.
"The Home Office funding should cover what is needed. If this changes, we will post on our Facebook page and update the news page on our website. https://www.mansfield.gov.uk/news.”
Enver Solomon, chief executive at the Refugee Council, said: "The Syrian scheme was a success because of long-term careful planning and collaboration with local areas and agencies, it will be critical for the same to happen given the challenges councils face due to the pandemic and overall financial pressures."
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Our country has a proud history of offering sanctuary to those in need. We will not abandon people who have been forced to flee their homes and are now living in terror of what might come next."