Civic leaders and churches respond as refugee crisis grows

September 28 2015

A PUBLIC meeting is being organised in Yate to establish how best the town can help Syrian refugees.

A PUBLIC meeting is being organised in Yate to establish how best the town can help Syrian refugees.

Yate Town Council has publicly announced a wish to support the refugees. 

It has since had a meeting with Yate’s team rector, the Rev Ian Wallace, and resolved to invite the community to work together so it can identify the best ways of responding to the crisis.

The public meeting – the date and venue yet to be announced - is being planned so people and organisations can consider ways of raising funds, making donations and organising collections and other events with the Red Cross to provide aid for those in need. 

Yate mayor, Councillor Tony Davis, said: “Yate Town Council welcomes and supports initiatives being taken by churches and others locally to take an active role in supporting efforts to help the refugees from Syria.” 

The Rev Wallace said: “I am so pleased that Yate Town Council has declared its willingness to respond to the suffering of those fleeing the war in Syria and am proud to be working with them. 

“Since arriving in Yate, I have heard how this town responded to the needs of the Vietnamese boat people and am pleased that the town’s heart of compassion is again evident in wanting to help the Syrian people.”

Anyone who wants to lend support, either individually or as a group, by working with the council and the church should email info@yatetowncouncil.gov.uk or call 01454 866506.

Meanwhile, South Gloucestershire Council has said it will play its part in responding to the crisis by taking in vulnerable people identified by the government and helping to provide humanitarian support.

The council is currently assessing its capacity to house and support the refugees who will come to Britain and said it would continue to work with the Government to ensure it was able to provide the services they will need.

It was also committed to working with local community and voluntary groups to develop and deliver an overall response.

Council leader Matthew Riddle said: “We have all seen and been disturbed by the images of suffering caused by the terrible conflict in Syria and wanted to know how we can help to ease that suffering. The community response from residents has been so heart-warming.

“We are recording the details of individuals and organisations contacting us with offers of help through our contact centre and One Stop Shops.

“The council response will be to help accommodate and support our share of the refugees that the Government has said it will be bringing to safety in the UK from camps in the Middle East.

“While we await the details about who will come to South Gloucestershire and the support needs that they will have from the Government, we are ready to mobilise as soon as we are called upon.”