Supporting Refugees - Crisis in Syria
Fife has a long and proud history of welcoming and supporting refugees. Over the last 30 years we have opened our doors to people from countries including Afghanistan, Uganda and Kosovo. Fife Council has confirmed that the Kingdom will welcome Syrian refugees with open arms.
We have and will continue to do our very best to give people who have gone through the terrible experience of becoming a refugee, the help and support they need to rebuild their lives here in Fife.
We are now involved in discussions with partners across the housing and health and social care and voluntary sectors to talk through what impact we could expect on our services.
Fife Migrant Forum have also agreed to co-ordinate this initiative and will work together with Fife Council, local organisations and support groups to respond more effectively to the humanitarian crisis and to make sure there is a plan in place to welcome and support the refugees coming to live in Fife.
How many refugees will be coming to Fife?
It’s too early to talk about a definitive number of people that could come to the Kingdom. However bearing in mind that nationally there has been a commitment to help 20,000 people, we could expect to welcome around 140 people to Fife over the next four years. We won’t know for some time whether these will be families, single people, or maybe children who have lost their parents. Whoever they are, they will be made most welcome.
How can we pay for this?
It’s no secret that our own budgets are stretched and that financial challenges are impacting on the services we provide. It’s important to state that we don’t anticipate any impact on our budget from welcoming refugees to Fife as government grants will be available to us.
Where will the refugees stay?
Housing in Fife is a key issue and we have over 11,500 people on our Fife Housing Register waiting for a home. It’s for this reason that we will be urging partners in the private and social rented sectors to help us and offer what accommodation they can.
Many Fifers will be willing and able to offer whatever they can to help these people who have lost their homes and their livelihoods. Although at this stage we're not sure what will be needed, if you feel you can help in some way then please get in touch.
If you would like to offer assistance with accommodation, please call 03451 55 55 55 Ext 440644.
Along with national charities there are also a number of local charities you can contact who are providing support.
Local Charities offering support to refugees
Fife Migrants Forum
Fife Migrants Forum has experience working with volunteers from different regions including Syria, Middle East and North Africa. They are well placed to coordinate the various responses throughout Fife to this crisis. Fife Migrants Forum is offering their premises as the Integration Centre where members of the local community can come to volunteer their support, or for information if they have any concerns or questions.
Jewels of Islam
Support offered: Food, clothing and befriending support.
Contact: Shazia Ahmad 07827 324369
Kirkcaldy Islamic Centre, 1 St Marys Road, Kirkcaldy, KY1 2RQ
Glenrothes / Fife - Calais Refugee Collection
Local people are also working together to gather aid for refugees in Calais. For more information check out their Facebook page
Fife Centre for Equalities
Fife Centre for Equalities is a project of Fife Voluntary Action, funded by Fife Council and supported by NHS Fife. Our goal is to inspire and enable the people of Fife to take action that makes Fife a more equal, fairer place to live and work. In the coming months, Fife Centre for Equalities will be working closely with Fife Council and other strategic partners to co-ordinate Fife’s preparations for supporting refugees. If you wish to take part in future discussions about support for refugees, please contact Fife Centre for Equalities by phone 08456 006 046 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find more information about how Scotland is supporting refugees from the Scottish Refugee Council website, along with stories from some of the people who have already found a home here.