Refugee resettlement schemes
The council has worked with local partner organisations, including community and faith groups, to resettle 60 Syrian refugees (14 households) into the county since November 2016.
The refugees were temporarily residing in countries neighbouring Syria and priority for resettlement has been given to women and children at risk, people in severe need of medical care and survivors of torture and violence.
In December 2017, Herefordshire Council's Cabinet took the decision to welcome a further 35 refugees to the county, as part of the Home Office's funded resettlement schemes, including the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme and the Vulnerable Children's Resettlement Scheme. The refugees will arrive in Herefordshire during 2018.
The council has commissioned Refugee Action to provide an orientation and support service to welcome and help refugees settle into Herefordshire's communities, paid for by the Home Office. The refugees have access to a range of services, including health, social care, education and housing and we continue to work with local partner organisations and community and faith representatives to ensure key services are in place.
Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children
Herefordshire has committed to support 25 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC), aged 17 or under at any one time, as part of the Home Office's National Transfer Scheme.
As a UASC reaches 18 and becomes a care leaver, the council will take on further UASCs to maintain its commitment to supporting 25 UASC.
General Asylum Dispersal Scheme
The Home Office is asking local councils to take asylum seekers, whose legal status and rights to services differ significantly from those of refugees. The council's Cabinet approved Herefordshire's voluntary participation in the General Asylum Dispersal Scheme in December 2017, which could see up to 40 asylum seekers being housed in the county.
Those eligible for the General Asylum Dispersal Scheme are considered to have a legitimate claim for asylum after initial screening, but are unable to support themselves. The Home Office provides them with accommodation and a living allowance, while their claim is considered, however they do not have access to public funds and are unable to work.
Your questions answered
We've received a lot of questions and offers of assistance from members of the public. To find out more please take a look at our questions and answers.
Volunteer as an interpreter
We need interpreters who can speak Arabic. If you would like to volunteer as an interpreter, please contact the Herefordshire Language Network at email@example.com or visit our translation and interpreting services page.
Volunteer your time
If you'd like to help refugees settle and integrate into Herefordshire's communities, please visit the Refugee Action website for current volunteering opportunities. Refugee Action has been appointed to deliver the council's orientation and support service for refugees in Herefordshire.
To better understand how you can support refugee families, take a look at Refugee Action's What sort of help might a recently arrived refugee need (PDF).
Foster a child
If you've been moved by the numbers of lone children arriving in the UK from countries such as Syria, Eritrea and Sudan, there is a way you can help.
We're looking for people from across Herefordshire who can foster children aged 10 to 18 and provide the safety, comfort and stability they need.
Get in touch today and find out how you can make a difference by calling 01432 383240 or visit our be a foster carer page to find out more.
Terms and definitions
There's often some confusion between the different terminology relating to refugees and asylum seekers. The Refugee Council offers an explanation in its terminology glossary and top 20 facts on this topic.
If you'd like to know more about getting involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org