In response to the overwhelming offers of support shown by communities across Argyll and Bute, for families fleeing conflict in Syria, Argyll and Bute community planning partnership is setting up a ‘skills bank’, to identify and put to good use help offered.
Provost Len Scoullar said, “I know how very friendly, supportive and welcoming people in Argyll and Bute can be. This has been obvious in the huge amount of support already shown in communities across the area for those seeking refuge from Syria.
“In response to and in partnership with that support, Argyll and Bute, working with the Scottish Government, will be one of 20 council areas expected to welcome Syrian families by Christmas. With our partners we have identified that there is available accommodation and support on Bute and in Campbeltown and it is likely that our first families will be welcomed into those communities.
“These men, women and young children are fleeing trauma that we would wish never to experience.
“Along with our community planning partners, we are taking steps to welcome and help our Syrian families build safe, secure lives in Argyll and Bute.
“As part of this, we want local people and community organisations to be able to register the support and skills they can offer in our newly set up skills bank which collects information and contact details. The skills bank will provide a central contact point for anyone wishing to help, and will match the help on offer to the men, women or children who need it.
“We speak often about everyone having a part to play in contributing to life in Argyll and Bute. I am sure that, by working together, we can make our Syrian families feel welcome and fortunate to call Argyll and Bute, rather than anywhere else in Scotland, their new home.”
The Refugee Resettlement Group, made up of Council officials and community planning partners, working with the Scottish Government, the Home Office and COSLA, is making arrangements for where families will live, and for meeting other basic requirements. The Group is chaired by Cleland Sneddon, Executive Director of Community Services and the work is being coordinated by Morag Brown, Business Improvement Manager.
If you have goods, skills or other practical help you would like to offer families, please visit http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/argyll-and-bute-welcomes-refugees, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01546 604199 for more information.