`We would welcome efforts from government to expand the programme’: Council
17th June 2011: The Refugee Council has called upon the government to expand the gateway protection programme to enable more vulnerable refugees to settle here.
The call came soon after Immigration Minister Damian Green started early celebrations for Refugee Week 2011 during a visit to the Refugee Council in Sheffield. Green met refugees rebuilding their lives in the city.
Welcoming the visit, Director of Advocacy at the Refugee Council Jonathan Ellis said: “What a great way to kick off Refugee Week! We were delighted that Damian Green visited our offices to meet refugees who came here through the Gateway programme, and in doing so, showed his commitment to ensuring refugees in the UK get the protection they need.
“These are refugees from some of the most hostile parts of the world, and have no prospect of ever returning home. Based on the success of the Gateway programme in helping people rebuild their lives here, we would welcome efforts from the government to expand the programme to enable more vulnerable refugees, like the people the Minister met today, to settle here.”
The Refugee Council in Sheffield works directly to support to some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees who have been resettled in the city through the government’s Gateway Protection Programme.
The charity offers essential advice and practical support to introduce the refugees to their local community by helping them find employment, to learn English, and find school places for their children.
This year the Refugee Council celebrates its 60th anniversary, 60 years since the UN Convention for Refugees was created to protect people whose lives were at risk in their own countries following WWII. The charity is celebrating Refugee Week 2011 by holding a range of events to celebrate the contributions have made to the UK over the last 60 years.
Already, the lives of the more than 3,300 people safely settled across the country through the Gateway Protection Programme have changed for better since it began in 2002.
Every year, as many as 750 vulnerable refugees are benefiting from the Protection Programme.
At the Sheffield project, Green heard more about the lives the 3,300 people safely settled across the country.