Sheffield thanked for welcoming Syrian refugees

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Sheffield has been thanked for welcoming Syrian refugees to the city.

As part of the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement scheme, 96 Syrian refugees have been offered homes in Sheffield over the last year.

In total, over 5,500 Syrian refugees have moved to the UK as part of the scheme, putting the government on track to meet its commitment of resettling 20,000 by 2020.

Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said: “The support of Sheffield and other local authorities has been paramount in helping us resettle so many vulnerable people who have fled conflict.

“The humanitarian crisis in Syria is unprecedented which is why we decided to undertake one of the largest resettlement schemes in the UK’s history.

“The hard work will continue throughout this Parliament as we provide those who have been traumatised and damaged by war with a safe environment and the chance to rebuild their lives.”

Councillor Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for housing at Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield is a welcoming and inclusive city. We’re the fourth largest in England and it’s important that we do our bit to respond to the refugee crisis, and help people fleeing war and persecution.

“We were the first local authority to welcome refugees when the Gateway programme started and we’re pleased we’ve been able to help people build new lives in Sheffield and escape desperate situations.”

Sheffield has been housing Syrian refugees with support from central government, which fully funds the first year of resettlement using the overseas aid budget.

The VPR scheme is voluntary, but so far more than 200 local authorities have housed refugees.

Local authorities have been provided with an additional £10 million in English language funding to help Syrian families improve their English to help them settle into the UK and find work.