Preparations are well underway to welcome the first Syrian refugees to South Lanarkshire.
Two Syrian families are due to arrive here before Christmas.
All 32 local authorities in Scotland have signed up to the Scottish Government’s call to welcome and find homes for up to 1,000 refugees by this time next year, supporting the UK Government’s pledge to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees from camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan by 2020.
Between 12 to 15 Syrain families - 60 people in total - will be coming to South Lanarkshire over the next year. Many of the young children will have spent their entire life living in a refugee camp. The council’s executive director of housing and technical services, Ann Gee, said: “Those coming to the UK are amongst the most vulnerable people in the conflict. This is a unique and extraordinary situation.
“The arrival of Syrian refugees in South Lanarkshire is part of an international humanitarian response.”
She continued: “Social housing landlords, operating in South Lanarkshire, have expressed their willingness to work with the council to house refugees and we will work with them as more families arrive.
“Colleagues in health, the voluntary sector, community and faith groups are all working together in important roles preparing for the arrival of our families.”
Syrian refugees coming to the UK include survivors of persecution, violence and torture, women and children who are at risk and people who need medical care.
Council leader Eddie McAvoy has called on everyone to give the refugee families a warm welcome. He said: “These people need our help and we are in the fortunate position to be able to extend the hand of friendship to them.”