Syrian refugees to arrive in Welwyn Hatfield

PUBLISHED: 17:42 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:42 20 March 2017

A young girl carried by her mother in a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan

A young girl carried by her mother in a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan

Archant

Humanitarian campaigners are preparing to welcome the first Syrian refuges to Welwyn Hatfield, where they are likely to arrive next month.

Although Welwyn Hatfield Council has been criticised for dragging its feet by the Herts Welcomes Syrian Families (HWSF) group, a family from a refugee camp is at last set to arrive towards the end of April.

The campaign group has organised a public meeting on Wednesday, March 22 to discuss how to help the family.

Spokeswoman Vicky Woodcraft, who lives in Handside Lane, Welwyn Garden City, said: “We will hear from HWSF and other volunteer groups supporting refugees and asylum-seekers in Herts, who will describe what they do and ways in which we can collaborate in order to work as effectively as possible.

“There will be opportunities for those who want to become more involved to find out what help is needed.”

A council spokesman said: “We have a house that will be ready to receive our first family at the end of April. This will be an adapted property which will meet the family’s needs, due to a disability.”

The authority is coordinating the project, but has not provided the property, which comes from a so-far undisclosed benefactor.

Since fighting erupted in spring 2011, about 11million Syrians have fled their homes, with most living in refugee camps in neighbouring countries such as Lebanon and Turkey.

Peace talks are ongoing in Geneva in Switzerland and Astana in Kazakhstan but not all groups are represented, and progress is painfully slow.

The Welwyn Garden City meeting at the Quaker Meeting House, Handside Lane, will start at 7.30pm on March 22.

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