Five Syrian refugee families are expected to arrive in Clydesdale this week – the first to be offered refuge here.
No details of the towns or villages set to host them are being released, with South Lanarkshire Council saying only that they the refugees will settle in the “wider Clydesdale area”.
The arrival of the families, as part of the Syrian vulnerable persons resettlement scheme, sees refugees now living in every area of South Lanarkshire.
As part of that scheme, 64 men, women and children have settled in the East Kilbride, Rutherglen, Cambuslang and Hamilton areas since December 2015.
The new arrivals will raise that number to 21 families made up of 79 refugees.
The families are being welcomed as part of the council’s commitment to accommodate up to 60 men women and children in the first year of the resettlement scheme and a further 60 throughout 2017.
Though the first from Syria, they are not the first refugees to be given homes in Clydesdale. At the beginning of the 1980s, Kersewell College in Carnwath was a national centre for families known as Vietnamese boat people.
They had fled their homeland because of war and ethnic cleansing and had also set out on perilous sea crossings.
Despite a warm welcome, with local people providing furniture and household goods, the families housed in Clydesdale themselves isolated and left for larger cities.
This time, there is more support available, though.
Eddie McAvoy, South Lanarkshire Council’s leader, said: “Those who have made their new homes in our communities have received a good Scots welcome, building new lives here, and I am sure the experience of refugees will be the same in Clydesdale.
“Across our communities, Syrian children are settling in well at school, and the families continually express their thanks and gratitude for the help they have received.
“This has been achieved by the commitment of an extended network of council and community planning partners, including health professionals, the voluntary sector, community and faith groups who provide support. Other social landlords are involved in helping us house refugees, and this has been invaluable.
“The council will continue to provide assistance to Syrians who have fled to neighbouring countries as a result of conflict in their homeland.”
, including survivors of violence and torture, women and children who are at risk and people who need medical care.
The UK Government has expanded the SVPRS to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees from camps neighbouring Syria by 2020. And the Scottish Government target that Scotland should accept 1,000 refugees as a starting point
has been met by local authorities.
1. Funding arrangements which cover the cost of the council’s participation