Five more homes for families from Afghanistan are being put forward by South Cambridgeshire District Council – meaning up to around 40 refugees can now be housed.
Last month (August) the Council said it would provide homes to three families as part of its response to the international crisis.
Since then, five further suitable properties have been put forward, including some which have been identified following conversations with housing associations working in the area. All the properties are being made available to support families relocating to the UK through the Afghan Locally Employed Support (LES) scheme, following a plea for Government for Councils to provide more housing help to Afghan nationals who worked for the British Government.
The intention is for Cambridge City Council’s experienced staff team to provide support to families as they arrive, helping them to establish new lives. This was already the arrangement for the first three properties identified for the LES scheme by South Cambridgeshire District Council.
South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr John Batchelor, said: “Just because news headlines are currently focused elsewhere doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten about how important it is that we do what we can to help those fleeing events in Afghanistan. They need, and deserve, our help. I’m pleased that we are working closely with partners, Cambridge City Council, and housing associations, to provide essential housing and support to some people who are most in need. Linking Afghan families up with a home and support to build a new life is a very practical way that we can do our bit to assist. I wish the families who will be arriving soon all the very best in their new lives.”
Meanwhile, residents who wish to do something of their own to help families fleeing Afghanistan are being reminded that they can talk to the following organisations about what they might need, both now and into the future:
- Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign (volunteering and financial donations)
- Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action Group (volunteering and financial donations)
- Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum
- Distribute Aid
- British Red Cross
If Forces families are affected by the recent events re-awakening stress and trauma associated with previous conflict, help is also available.
- Combat Stress now operates a 24-hour free, confidential helpline which is available by calling 0800 138 1619. Alternatively, text 07537 173683 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- For urgent and immediate support, you can reach the Samaritans on 116 123 or email@example.com
- The Veterans’ Gateway helpline phone number is 0808 802 1212
- Dedicated veterans’ mental health and wellbeing service Op COURAGE also supports Armed Forces veterans. Visit the NHS website or call 0300 323 0137 or email firstname.lastname@example.org