A new group of Syrian refugee families are settling in Wiltshire and have been welcomed by their compatriots who are marking their first anniversary here this December. Four families arrived in November and are becoming accustomed to Wiltshire life aided by volunteers and those Syrian refugees who have already lived here for some time. The newest arrivals were welcomed to Wiltshire by John Thomson, deputy leader of Wiltshire Council, at a recent event where representatives from a number of agencies were available to give advice and support. John Thomson said: “This one year anniversary marks a milestone in welcoming Syrian refugee families and individuals to Wiltshire. We are extremely grateful to our many volunteers who provide one to one support to ensure they have everything they need to deal with the challenges of moving to another country and culture. “A great help for our newest residents is seeing those who have been here for some time settling into their communities and making new lives for themselves here, learning English, seeking employment and contributing to Wiltshire life. It gives them great hope for the future.” The first group of 27 refugees, eight families and individuals – arrived in the country on 2 December 2015. Since then a number of Syrian refugee families and individuals have made their home in Wiltshire with 62 now living here. Wiltshire Council has continued to work with key partners including Wiltshire Police, health colleagues and the Department for Work and Pensions as part of a strong multi-agency approach to ensure the refugees have all they need to settle quickly into their new homes.
Charities, faith groups, community groups and volunteers have been a key part of the response providing general support to help the refugees adapt.