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This week is Refugee Week 2021.

Published Wednesday, 16th June 2021

Worcestershire County Council is doing all it can to help ensure those who resettle do not walk alone when they arrive in the county.

We cannot walk alone is also the theme for this year’s campaign and encourages everyone to reach out and connect with someone new.

This is something that those who have resettled here in Worcestershire have done with great success.

Since 2016,  Worcestershire have welcomed over 100 Syrian Refugees across all of the districts within the county,  and the council will continue to welcome further families over the coming months.

One resident Amani, arrived in Worcestershire, in August 2016 with her husband and 3 children. Both Amani and her husband were professional workers in their home country. After fleeing the conflict they resided in Lebanon, they both volunteered for Save the Children and worked in the Camps to support children into education.

Amani said: “My family and I felt really supported since arriving in Worcestershire. We have learnt a lot about the different culture in the UK and how to deal with new people. It was difficult to manage and understand what was going on around me when I first arrived but now after all the help I have received, I  am able to support the new families arriving into Worcestershire, helping them to learn about everything from the law, education, sending the children to school and helping with difficult health issues.

We are so pleased with the big progress all the families have made, in such difficult times. I really enjoy using my experiences, to help encourage new families and always tell them to aspire to do well. I like to do what I can to encourage them all to get employment and volunteer work as this can be really key for their futures. I’ve really enjoyed helping others get started on learning something new whether that be learning to drive, learning English or anything that may help them be independent in the future. “
On their arrival to the UK, they both went to college and learnt English, whilst also studying for their driving theory and practical exams.

Both are now gainfully employed and are well integrated into their communities.
Amani has come full circle as she now works with the council as a Support Worker, helping others and sharing her experiences of the programme, whilst her husband works as a Fork Lift Driver. The children are all studying hard in school and the eldest is preparing to start studying A-Level qualifications this September at the local Sixth form.

Councillor Matt Dormer, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “It’s really heartening to read stories like Amani’s and the progress she and her family have made since they have arrived in our county, and it has been wonderful to hear so many stories of other families learning new skills even in the most difficult of times. I’m really looking forward to learning more about the programme in my new role as we look forward to the next phase of the programme beginning in July.”

The council’s chief executive, Paul Robinson  and the council’s leaders have pledged to continue to support refugees coming into the county, and will be supporting the UK Resettlement Scheme and the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy throughout 2021 and beyond.

The next phase of the UK Resettlement programme in Worcestershire starts in July this year when we welcome our first family post since the Covid-19 pandemic began.