Date Published: 15 September 2021
A statement from Cllr Richard Wright, Leader of North Kesteven District Council and a member of the East Midlands’ Regional Migration Partnership, on behalf of all Lincolnshire councils.
Lincolnshire councils are working collectively and closely with the Home Office to support Afghans who left their country over recent weeks to arrive in the UK.
Supporting the Home Office in delivering its resettlement programme, Lincolnshire has welcomed a number of Afghan families as part of the first phase approach. Initially these evacuated families have arrived in South Kesteven where they are being supported in two Home Office-appointed bridging hotels whilst awaiting onward location around the country.
These are two of the 74 accommodation units made available across the UK by the Home Office as it works towards welcoming and supporting 7,000 people who worked to assist the UK’s mission in Afghanistan. Additionally the UK is committed to helping a further 5,000 vulnerable refugees in the first year. The hotels are being used by the Home Office as temporary transit accommodation as the families’ needs are assessed and more permanent accommodation is found elsewhere within the UK; with all costs to be met by Government.
As the Lincolnshire councils work collaboratively to provide wellbeing and wrap-around care, there is recognition of how traumatic the process of leaving their homeland has been and the commitment that the UK Government has made to support these families.
We will not be detailing how many families there are or where they may ultimately be settling because of the need to protect their privacy and wellbeing.
Through our coordinated regional partnership, provision is being made for targeted support with housing, education, healthcare and essential needs in establishing a life in this country.
The outpouring of support from residents across the county who want to help or donate items to support Afghan families has been incredible, but it is important to emphasise that local councils, associated services and hotels are not currently able to accept direct donations of any kind on behalf of Afghan families.
While a local co-ordination function is being established, anyone wanting to help can find out more by visiting the GOV.UK help for refugees webpages.
Financial donations can be made through one of the official appeals currently in operation such as the British Red Cross.
If Forces families are affected by the recent events re-awakening stress and trauma associated with previous conflict, they too should know that help and support is available. Combat Stress now operates a 24-hr free, confidential helpline on 0800 138 1619. Alternatively, text 07537 173683 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For urgent and immediate support, Samaritans are on 116 123 or email@example.com.
The Veterans’ Gateway helpline is 0808 802 1212 or by visiting the Veterans’ Gateway website.
Dedicated veterans’ mental health and wellbeing service Op COURAGE also supports Armed Forces veterans, details are on the NHS Mental health support for veterans, service leavers and reservists webpages, or you can call 0300 323 0137, or email firstname.lastname@example.org