We are writing to you with a request for support.
As you may well be aware, Refugee Support Devon are working with Devon County Council to resettle Syrian families across the county, and offer them a safe, welcoming place in which they can rebuild their lives.
Devon County Council has commitments from Local Authorities in Devon to resettle over 30 Syrian families and together we have developed a network to provide much of the essential support, including making necessary links to local GPs, schools, DWP and other statutory agencies. I have attached a briefing about the scheme to this letter for your information. As part of our support, RSD will help with orientation, integration support and longer-term one-to-one support with health, employment and education etc. We are working with several other community groups in order to do this.
As such, we would like to invite your group to contribute to the welcome project. Over the last few months we have had many calls and requests for information from local people who are worried about the plight of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria and who are also concerned that Devon has not been fast enough to respond. However, we hope you agree that this commitment from local authorities is a positive step forward and we are keen to channel the compassion people have shown into helping new arrivals.
As part of the Home Office requirements, any housing used must be of a good standard and must be furnished with basic items (for example, beds, wardrobes and “white goods”). However, there are other items which are not going to be provided but which would be extremely beneficial to a family in a new home. We are therefore asking if local groups would be willing to club together and buy a couple of these items as a gift for a family as they arrive.
So that we do not receive multiples of the same item for each family, we are asking that you choose an item from the list attached and inform us that you will be donating it.
Or, if it is not possible to buy the item, you can “sponsor” it by donating money using the price indicators given on the list. We would really appreciate it if any actual items you donate are new. We realise there is a lot of value in recycling/re-using items, however, we know from experience that it can be very hard to regulate the standard of item donated.
Equally, if you are in the position to be able to offer us space to store items until they are required (we aim for this to be no longer than 1 months), that would be incredibly useful.
I would be more than happy to speak with you directly about this, or to come and discuss it with your group.
We look forward to working with you in the future.
Project Development Worker