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‘Resounding’ response to appeal for furniture for Norfolk-bound Syrian refugees

PUBLISHED: 16:00 02 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:11 04 November 2018

Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. Picture: Bruno Fahy/PA Images

Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. Picture: Bruno Fahy/PA Images

Belga/PA Images

A plea for people to donate household furniture to help the Syrian refugees fleeing civil war to start new lives in Norfolk has had a “resounding response”.

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Neil PerryAndrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Neil Perry

In October, Norfolk County Council made a public appeal for donations of household furniture or general items to support the Syrian refugee resettlement programme.

And bosses at County Hall described the response as “resounding”, after they were “inundated” by donations from the public.

The team has been working to collect the offered items and move them into the homes of the refugee families being resettled into Norfolk.

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “I am glad that our appeal for donations has been met with such generosity from the good people of Norfolk.

“The Syrian refugees have been through so much, and with Home Office funding we are proud to offer them an opportunity to settle in this amazing county.”

Norfolk County Council voted in July 2016 to accept 50 vulnerable Syrian refugees through the government’s resettlement scheme, which set a target to offer sanctuary to 20,000 people fleeing civil war over five years.

They have been housed in the Greater Norwich area and, in the summer, county councillors agreed that a further one hundred refugees should be similarly welcomed.

Donations for Norfolk’s Syrian refugee resettlement programme have been made from across the county: including Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, Lowestoft, Loddon, Beccles, Barnham Broom, Gimingham, Dereham, Sheringham, Fakenham and Hunstanton.

Many people have also been leaving smaller items at Norfolk County Council Libraries to be delivered.

The refugees are not put into council homes, but are housed through the private sector leasing scheme.

The county council is also looking to recruit volunteer support workers to help the refugees, such as by helping them to form links with the community and to use public transport.

Anyone wishing to offer their time as a volunteer or donate items to the Syrian refugee resettlement programme should visit www.gov.uk/help-refugees and select ‘Norfolk County’ from the list of participating councils.

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