Westbury Welcome in search of a house

Published on: 20 Dec 2017

A community group from Westbury-on-Trym is in search of a low-rental 3-4 bedroom property for a Syrian refugee family.

 Westbury Welcome is a diverse group of approximately 60 people from Westbury-on-Trym, who are committed to welcoming a Syrian refugee family into this area through the government’s Community Sponsorship programme. They will be guided by the Home Office in cooperation with Bristol City Council and in partnership with the charity Citizens UK.

 Spokeswoman Eveline Johnstone said: “We aim to raise sufficient funds from our local community to find and furnish affordable privately-rented accommodation. We will then help the family to settle in when they arrive.

 “Using our varied life experience, skills and abilities, we will have a package of wrap-around support in place from the moment the family arrive at the airport, for at least the next two years. This will include assistance with learning English, support with finding schools, navigating the health system, and orientation to the city and to life in Britain.”

 The family will be selected by the UNHCR and the Home Office from one of the refugee camps in the Middle East, on the basis of priority and ‘best fit’ to the care the group is able to offer. The Home Office conducts careful screening before people are granted leave to enter the UK and priority is determined by a number of factors, including vulnerability.

 Westbury Welcome has been busy fundraising for the cause. A recent quiz raised £500 and the group has also received a number of generous donations. 

Eveline Johnstone added: “Our grateful thanks to you all for your support so far.

 “We are now actively looking to source a 3-4 bedroomed flat or house in this area from a property owner willing to accept a lower rental to match the housing benefit. This would be £800-£1,000 approximately per month. We could top up the rent minimally, but envisage the rent remaining low until the family can function financially independently.

 “If you know of a property owner who may be interested in helping us we would be very grateful to hear from you.”

 Contact westburywelcome@gmail.com or follow the progress of Westbury Welcome’s campaign on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/Westbury Welcome

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