Volunteers prepare to welcome refugees to North Somerset - and need help to set up a donation collection point in Weston
PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 November 2016
'Refugees are welcome in North Somerset' is the message from volunteers who are getting ready to support three Syrian families when they arrive in the district.
North Somerset Council agreed in February to provide homes to three families affected by the Syrian civil war and the threat of the jihadist group Isis.
Refugees Welcome North Somerset was created by Holly Law two months ago, in a bid to find out why those families had not yet arrived, and to recruit people willing to help them when they do.
The council is still trying to find suitable homes for the families, but, in the meantime, Refugees Welcome is in the process of finding furniture for their houses.
The group held a ‘bring and share’ food event at the weekend, to talk about how people can help refugees arriving in Europe.
Holly said: “We are focusing on the resettlement of three families and working with the council to find all the items needed to furnish the houses.
“We are also working with Voluntary Action North Somerset to donate cash and co-ordinate pre-loved items like good-quality beds and dining room tables which can go into the homes.
“We are also setting up donation stations across North Somerset for food to be sent to refugee camps.”
The group heard a speech by Lea Beven, who has visited 10 refugee camps across Europe before setting up a warehouse to collect donations.
Holly said: “She was there as inspiration to us. People who were at the event said they were feeling quite unsettled after Brexit and Donald Trump’s election, and they said thank you for allowing them to do something positive.
“Lots of people want to help but don’t know how, and it is really great to be able to give that opportunity to people.”
Refugees Welcome is hoping to set up a donation point for food in Weston.
Anyone who can help should visit www.refugeeswelcomenorthsomerset.wordpress.com