Bracknell Forest is due to welcome two refugee families from Afghanistan later this month.
We are committed to supporting the Afghan Locally Employed Staff Relocation Scheme and, as part of this commitment, we will house and support two families from mid-late September. Until our families are placed with us, we are do not know how many individuals the families will comprise, but we would estimate between eight to 10 individuals.
The council is working across services and closely with other key organisations like the NHS and police to make sure the families are able to settle safely within the borough and can access services like health care, school places, employment, training and English language classes.
We have been humbled by the local response and kind offers of help and donations by local organisations and residents. Currently we are working with our voluntary sector partners to understand what support we may need to help the two families adjust to life in Bracknell Forest. We will make public announcements on how you may be able to help within the coming weeks, so please do keep an eye on our website and social media should you wish to help.
Cllr Paul Bettison OBE, Leader of Bracknell Forest Council, said:
“I don’t think anyone can fail to be affected by what’s happened in Afghanistan recently. The Locally Employed Staff Relocation Scheme supports people who have served our country in Afghanistan to relocate and rebuild their lives safely – two such families will be welcomed to Bracknell Forest later this month.
“I’m truly humbled by just how many people in Bracknell Forest have contacted us to offer donations and support over the past few weeks. Your generosity and spirit is what make Bracknell Forest a wonderful place and I know our community will do all it can to support these two new families as they adjust to life in the borough.
“While we are grateful for all offers of donations, we are still working through exactly what help, support and physical supplies our two new families will need, so I’d please ask you to just hold on to that enthusiasm to help for a little longer while we work out logistics with our partners.
“Once we understand what donations we may need we will make information available on our website and social media channels.”
The council committed to supporting the resettlement of Afghan Locally Employed Staff under the national Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy earlier this summer. We have yet to hear details of any additional schemes to support Afghan refugees but are aware central government is working on plans. Once we have full details, we will look carefully at what additional support we can offer.