Cheshire West and Chester Council stands ready to offer sanctuary to Afghan refugees

25 August 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council is committed to playing its part in providing safety and shelter for people fleeing the current crisis in Afghanistan. 

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “We stand ready to offer support for any refugees from Afghanistan. We have a proud history of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers to the borough, and it has never been more important to do so than now, as the crisis in Afghanistan continues to unfold.  

“We have already offered a safe and secure future to over 20 refugee families fleeing the conflict in Syria and stand ready to provide sanctuary to vulnerable refugees arriving from Afghanistan.” 

The Council has worked with the Home Office since 2016 to resettle refugees displaced by the war in Syria and a multi-agency framework is already in place to provide the support that vulnerable refugees need.  

Added Councillor Gittins: “We will use the experience gained from supporting the Syrian families to help those fleeing Afghanistan to settle successfully in the borough. 

“We work closely with partners including housing, health, education, children's services and social care to support the health and wellbeing of vulnerable refugees and enable them to integrate successfully into the local community.  Each family will be provided with comprehensive support, tailored to their individual needs, including help to learn English. 

“We are very grateful for all the offers of support we have received from local people and the voluntary, faith and community sector.  However, we are not looking for donations at this time, as refugees accommodated in the borough will be provided with everything they need using funding provided by Central Government.” 

PCR tests are being carried out pre-departure and, if positive for COVID-19, the families won't be allowed to travel until they have made a full recovery. Families will be quarantined on arrival in the UK, where they will also be tested again and offered COVID vaccinations in line with current guidelines. Families will also be given information on current best practice in relation to COVID, such as hand washing and face coverings. 

Anyone wishing to donate funds, goods and services, or wishing to volunteer to support refugees is advised to contact one of the established local charities that work with refugees and other vulnerable groups in the borough or a national charity such as the Red Cross or the Refugee Council:

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