Hundreds more refugees to be rehomed in Sheffield as council prepares to renew scheme

Former refugee Rose was resettled in Sheffield
Former refugee Rose was resettled in Sheffield
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Refugees will continue to be re-homed in Sheffield after the council agreed to continue a Government-funded resettlement programme.

Sheffield Council is set to continue its Government Gateway Protection Programme until 2020.

A total of 1,162 refugees have already been given a home in Sheffield since 2004.

It means refugees from countries including Ethiopa, Sudan and Somalia will be housed in the city every year.

Since 2004, Sheffield has rehoused about 100 refugees per year. The continuation of the scheme will mean 75 refugees per year being resettled in Sheffield, in addition to the 75 Syrian refugees being rehomed in Sheffield in the next three years.

Sheffield Council says it will mean an extra 450 refugees in the city by 2020.

A formal decision on is set to be made next week by Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council.

Rose Bazzie, a Liberian refugee, was one of the first people to be resettled in Sheffield through the Gateway Protection Programme. She arrived in the city in March 2004 and is now a qualified nurse, working at the Northern General Hospital.

Rose said: “I fled my country, Liberia, in 1990 to escape the war. I had to leave Liberia after my grandfather’s village was attacked; most of my relatives were killed.

“I lived in a refugee camp in Guinea for over a decade: it was depressing there. Then my husband, son and I heard we were going to be resettled to the UK.

“I remember the day we arrived – I was shocked at how cold it was. I was only wearing slippers and a dress! Adapting to life in Sheffield has been challenging but it’s now my home.

“I’ve been very grateful to be able to come to the UK: I can’t even compare it to my life in the refugee camp. Not only have I survived, but I’ve made the most of every opportunity I’ve had.”

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.

“We’re being careful in our response and offering to support the number of people we know we can effectively help.”

The council works with the Refugee Council to help people settle into a new life in the city. The Refugee Council’s Head of Advocacy, Dr. Lisa Doyle, said: “Sheffield has a long tradition of protecting and welcoming refugees and the people of Sheffield should feel proud that for over a decade they have helped give hope and a brighter, safer future to so many refugee families.”

Sheffield has resettled 1,162refugees since 2004. Of these, 70 are from Syria.