Coun Richard Wright, Leader of North Kesteven District Council and a member of the East Midlands’ Regional Migration Partnership says Lincolnshire councils are working collectively and closely with the Home Office to support Afghans who left their country over recent weeks to escape the Taliban takeover, to arrive in the UK.
Lincolnshire has welcomed a number of Afghan families as part of the first phase of resettlement. Initially these evacuated families have arrived in South Kesteven where they are being supported in two Home Office-appointed bridging hotels while awaiting onward location around the country.
These are two of the 74 accommodation units made available across the UK by the Home Office as it works towards welcoming and supporting 7,000 people who worked to assist the UK’s mission in Afghanistan. Additionally the UK is committed to helping a further 5,000 vulnerable refugees in the first year.
The hotels are being used by the Home Office as temporary transit accommodation as the families’ needs are assessed and more permanent accommodation is found elsewhere within the UK, explains Coun Wright, with all costs to be met by the Government.
As nominated spokesman for teh county on this matter, Coun Wright commented: “As the Lincolnshire councils work collaboratively to provide wellbeing and wrap-around care, there is recognition of how traumatic the process of leaving their homeland has been and the commitment that the UK Government has made to support these families.
“We will not be detailing how many families there are or where they may ultimately be settling because of the need to protect their privacy and wellbeing.”
Provision is being made for targeted support with housing, education, healthcare and essential needs in establishing a life in this country.
“The outpouring of support from residents across the county who want to help or donate items to support Afghan families has been incredible, but it is important to emphasise that local councils, associated services and hotels are not currently able to accept direct donations of any kind on behalf of Afghan families,” said Coun Wright.
While a local co-ordination function is being established, anyone wanting to help can find out more by visiting: www.gov.uk/help-refugees.
Financial donations can be made through one of the official appeals currently in operation such as the British Red Cross at: https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/afghanistan-crisis-appeal
If armed forces families are affected by the recent events re-awakening stress and trauma associated with previous conflict, they too should know that help and support is available. Combat Stress now operates a 24-hr free, confidential
helpline on 0800 138 1619. Alternatively, text 07537 173683 or email [email protected]
For urgent and immediate support, Samaritans are on 116 123 or [email protected]
The Veterans’ Gateway helpline is 0808 802 1212, or www.veteransgateway.org.uk
Dedicated veterans’ mental health and wellbeing service Op COURAGE also supports Armed Forces veterans: www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/armed-forces-community/mental-health/veteransreservists Call: 0300 323 0137 or email: [email protected]