Mixed reaction from Sheffield residents as some Afghan refugees potentially resettle in the city in the coming months

With figures showing that Sheffield has housed more Syrian refugees than almost anywhere else in the UK, there is mixed reaction as the Government prepares to resettle incoming Afghan refugees.

Friday, 27th August 2021, 1:31 pm

Many have praised Sheffield for its actions in welcoming refugees into the City of Sanctuary over the years.

Helen Beaumont said: “I'm proud that Sheffield is doing this,” while Keeleigh Hallam added: “Kindness should be celebrated.”

Lisa J Bee said: “I’m very proud that Sheffield welcomes the most refugees, as one person has said there will be a lot of future doctors and other very clever people that will be an asset to Sheffield and no doubt very grateful.”

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People have been attempting to flee Afghanistan. Picture by AFP via Getty Images.

Syrians who fled from their home country during the Syrian crisis have been welcomed to the area since 2014, which some Sheffielders have highlighted with positivity.

Chantelle Clarke said: “My mum has the most lovely Syrian family that live next door to her. They are friendly, hard working, polite and fantastic neighbours and all round lovely people! They came to this country fleeing the violence in their country and have made a great life for themselves with their lovely children.”

Esther Northcott added: “I also have many Syrian neighbours, amongst many other nationalities and it’s lovely. They all are lovely.”

It is not yet known how many Afghan refugees will potentially be resettled in Sheffield but many are in support of the idea.

Bsharath Hussain said: “I am happy for my taxes to be used to help refugees who come to this country and I am happy for my taxes to be used to help people who are need in this country as well. For me all lives matter.”

Catherine Cotterill added: “I definitely feel for them. Having to leave your country because terrorists have taken over and you fear for your life, leaving family and friends not knowing if you'll see them again.”

However, others have raised concerns about the potential implications surrounding housing and other issues for existing Sheffield residents, if it welcomes more people into the city.

April Ogden said: “I agree we should be helping refugees as a nation but why Sheffield again?? That is all I’m saying!! Council housing lists are long, schools class sizes are bigger, doctors surgery’s and hospitals can’t cope. Sheffield can’t keep doing it! We’ve taken more refugees in Sheffield than any other city. So why not some other city house them??”

Karen Thompson added: “The council will get money from the government to purchase or rent accommodation for the Afghan refugees. Why can't they do the same for our Sheffield residents who haven't got a cat in hell's chance of getting a council property?”

Paul Collins told how he now faces a longer wait on the housing list as a result of the Afghanistan crisis, describing it as “disgusting - I am 70 years old”.

To those in objection of Sheffield accepting more refugees, some have urged people to “show compassion”, to “imagine if it was you and your family that was in their situation” and reiterating that it is “a humanitarian crisis”.