Brighton and Hove pledges to help more refugee families

Cllr Emma Daniel
Cllr Emma Daniel

The city council has signed a United Nation ‘statement of solidarity’ to stand with refugees, and has pledged to welcome more families in need.

This comes as a number of events are taking place across the city to mark Refugee Week.

Brighton and Hove City Council signed up to a statement of solidarity which highlights the work of cities all over the world to promote inclusion, support refugees and bring communities together.

And it has also agreed to welcome more refugees as part of the Government’s resettlement programme for some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees.

The council said: “We are looking for a small number of private sector landlords with properties of any size willing to work with us to provide homes for refugees from Syria and elsewhere. Refugees arriving here will not be placed into council accommodation or added to the city’s waiting list for residents in housing need.”

The city has already taken ten Syrian households on this resettlement programme. The Government funds local authorities for refugees arriving through these schemes – this pays for support to them to settle in a new country, including helping the children to settle in local schools.

Councillor Emma Daniel, chair of the council’s neighbourhoods, inclusion, communities and equalities (NICE) committee, said: “We are proud to sign the statement of solidarity for the city and even more so to help more families through the resettlement programme.

“There are over 20 million people worldwide currently living outside their countries to escape violence and persecution. The role of areas like Brighton & Hove in working to create inclusive communities and playing our part in humanitarian efforts to help refugees has never been more important.”

A number of events are taking place across the city for Refugee Week, including the Crossing Borders Festival, a music and arts festival run by Brighton’s Sanctuary on Sea group.

The festival, which began on Saturday (June 16) and ends on Sunday (June 24), aims to celebrate refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants through their music and art, past and present.

And the week culminates with ‘Together’ this coming Sunday (June 24); a free day of art, music, theatre and dance workshops, exhibitions and performances, plus stalls, food, and board games from around the world, all designed by refugee and other communities to break down barriers.

Together runs from 11am to 4pm at the Brighton Dome and the Brighton Art Gallery & Museum and is also part of the national Great Get Together Weekend, in honour of murdered Jo Cox MP who famously said ‘we have more in common than that which divides us’.

For a list of events, visit: brighton-and-hove.cityofsanctuary.org/refugee-week-2018

If any landlords or community groups would like to find out more about helping to resettle refugees, contact refugeehelp@brighton-hove.gov.uk or call 01273 291248.