Afghan families begin arriving in Gloucestershire
Three Afghan families touched down in Gloucestershire last week as part of the county’s pledge to take in up to 35 families who worked with UK forces in Afghanistan. A further two families are expected to arrive this week.
The families will be helped to integrate into society and build a new life, receiving help with medical needs, arranging English lessons, if required, finding jobs and getting children into education.
The families are arriving as part of the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) which was put in place to help resettle those who were at risk from the Taliban because of their work with UK forces in Afghanistan. Since the first ARAP flight on 22 June, around 7,000 Afghans and their family members have been relocated to the UK. This is in addition to the government’s national commitment to welcome around 5,000 of the most vulnerable Afghan families in the first year of the separate Afghan Citizen Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) and up to 20,000 over the coming years.
The county’s response is being coordinated by Gloucestershire’s Strategic Housing Partnership, which is made up of all seven Gloucestershire councils. Working on behalf of the Partnership local specialists, GARAS, are working with families, making sure they have all they need to settle into their new lives.
Landlords across the county have responded to the call for much needed homes for families arriving in the county but more are still needed. There are a number of benefits for landlords, including:
- rent in advance payments paid directly to the landlord,
- set up costs for furnishings
Any landlord with good quality family homes available to rent are urged to come forward and help a family from Afghanistan build a new life in the county. For more information contact, Gorib Hossain on Gorib.Hossain@gloucester.gov.uk.
Anyone resettled through either the ARAP or ARCS schemes will receive indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK, and will be able to apply for British citizenship.