When Barnardo’s founder Thomas Barnardo arrived in London in 1866, he was appalled to witness the suffering of street children – young people with nowhere to turn for help.
He set out to give them a refuge, a place where they would be fed, cared for and given an education.
Now 150 years later tens of thousands of children are fleeing from different conflict zones, often alone with no family members to turn to, making them hugely vulnerable.
Following Dr Barnardo’s example we welcome the Government’s commitment to resettle Syrian refugee children from Europe. But it must now urgently work with local authorities to establish a plan on how these children will be resettled.
This plan should set out details of a dispersal mechanism, long-term funding and specialist support so that these children can recover from the trauma they have suffered and integrate into their new communities.
It is vital that this process is completed quickly to ensure the safety of these vulnerable children as soon as possible.
Director, Barnardo’s East