Sights, sounds and scents of traditional Syria were to be found in Malvern last Saturday night as ‘Malvern Welcomes’ hosted a fundraising community meal for 70 people at Lansdowne Church Hall.
The evening was designed to be an enjoyable way for Malvern residents to continue to grow and foster an atmosphere of welcome for the refugee families once they arrive later this year. Scents of jasmine, rose petals and spices filled the air as the guests enjoyed a three course buffet of traditional Syrian dishes.
It has now been confirmed that the first three families will arrive in Worcestershire at the end of June with a further four families to arrive in July. Refugee Action will take the lead in the Worcestershire resettlement programme along with the British Red Cross and Spring Housing, who are a charitable Housing Association dealing directly with private landlords. This announcement was greeted with warm applause.
We acknowledge that it has not been easy for the Councillors who have worked on resettlement over the last 18 months–especially at a time when financial and human resources are so stretched. We appreciate the efforts of many Councillors both at Malvern Hills District Council and Worcestershire County Council who acted on their conviction that we should be playing a part to help people who, through no fault of their own, are caught up in this terrible crisis.
Councillors Julian Roskams and John Raine have worked tirelessly for the last 18 months. We were also pleased that Cllr Melanie Baker portfolio -holder for housing at MHDC was able to join us for the evening and were glad to have the opportunity to thank her publicly for her effort and commitment.