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First refugee family ‘delighted’ with their new home in the district

Published: Monday, 4 July, 2016

The first Syrian refugee family to be settled in the Stroud district, under the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme, has said that it is delighted with its new home.

The family, which moved to the district in the past month, is one of 10 that Stroud District Council has committed to help. It has been working with charity Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers (GARAS), Gloucestershire County Council, housing providers and other agencies to bring the family to the UK and settle them safely.

Adele Owen, director of GARAS, said:

“Resettling a family is a long process as we need to ensure that families are housed in suitable homes and that their specific requirements such as schooling and health needs are properly catered for – just like with any family. They have been forced to start up new lives thousands of miles from their home country so it’s important that their integration into a different environment is properly planned and thought out. The family is over the moon with its new home and delighted with the area. They have commented on how friendly local people are and how they love going out and taking photos of the area and its wildlife.”

So far, four other Syrian families have moved to Gloucestershire - two in Cheltenham and two in Gloucester. They will all continue to be looked after by GARAS to help them settle into their new communities.

Steve Lydon, leader of Stroud District Council, said:

“We’re delighted that our first family has taken to the district warmly and has received an equally warm welcome from local people. Adele and her team at GARAS have done a great job liaising with local councils and housing providers, in a complicated process that also involves the Home Office and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, to ensure that families arrive safely and are well looked after. We’re pleased that the family is already enjoying its new home after such a traumatic experience in Syria. Last year the willingness of the people of our district to help those in need made national headlines and it’s great to see how welcome this first family has been made to feel and how well-supported they are by local agencies and their new neighbours.”

The families arriving in the Stroud district under the relocation scheme are being housed in privately rented accommodation. There is a shortage of private affordable housing in the district, so anyone who has an empty property that they would like to put forward at an affordable rental rate for a long-term home for one of the future families, should call GARAS on 01452 550528.


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