WARWICKSHIRE residents are being thanked for offering a warm welcome to refugees from Ukraine, Afghanistan and Syria on World Refugee Day today (Monday June 20).
Warwickshire County Council (WCC) is marking the day by honouring refugees around the globe and recognising the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict.
A WCC spokesperson said: “Refugees are forced to leave their homes due to war, terror, or other crises – but fleeing their home country is often just the beginning of a difficult journey.
“Warwickshire communities, its services, businesses and residents, have stepped forward over the years to offer their help in a myriad of ways to provide sanctuary, support and friendship and most recently their homes.
“This year, WCC wishes to thank residents for offering the warmest welcome to refugees that arrived from Afghanistan and Syria, and more recently from Ukraine. Together with the assistance provided through partnerships between local government, educators, healthcare providers and voluntary groups, we have shown the strength in community power to support them to settle into the county.”
Council leader Coun Izzi Seccombe said Refugee Day 2022 provided an opportunity to reflect on the contribution Warwickshire had made to support refugees, and the difference this has made to people’s lives.
She said: “The fact that the whole county has come together over the years to provide a safe place for these families to begin to heal and rebuild lives shattered by conflict is a testament to what a fantastic place Warwickshire is to live.
“I am immensely proud that Warwickshire County Council, our partners across all sectors, and the wider community have pulled together to provide a comprehensive package of support to these families. I have been pleased and proud to hear how people have gone above and beyond to make our newest residents so welcome.
“Families and individuals arriving in Warwickshire have been offered space to begin their healing in a county that has always celebrated and welcomed diversity; a county that has always offered help to its most vulnerable residents; and a county that has a deep and enduring sense of civil-mindedness at its very heart.
“It is wonderful to see how the families that we have welcomed have stayed within Warwickshire and thrived making valuable contributions to their local communities and towards making Warwickshire the best it can be.”
National Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. Founded in 1998 and held every year around World Refugee Day on June 20, Refugee Week is also a growing global movement.
Counterpoints Arts, which coordinates and manages National Refugee Week with the support of over 20 national organisations, has suggested simple acts people can do to support refugees in their community under this year’s theme of ‘healing’. Visit www.refugeeweek.org.uk for more information.