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50 Afghan refugees can expect a ‘warm arm of friendship’ as they settle in Preston

Posted on - 2nd September, 2021 - 11:09am | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston Council, Preston News
Sunshine and shadows in Preston city centre Pic: Tony Worrall
Sunshine and shadows in Preston city centre Pic: Tony Worrall

Preston has joined with cities and towns across the UK, and further afield, to open its doors to Afghan refugees as British and American troops withdraw from Afghanistan.

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In the coming days, the city will welcome 50 Afghan refugees, a large percentage of whom are children, to provide safe and suitable accommodation.

Preston City Council has been working with partners to make arrangements for these families as part of the government’s resettlement programme across the UK.

Read more: Greener rail commuting headed to Preston and the North West

The city has a long and proud history of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers into the city and community.

Over the years Preston City of Sanctuary has built a substantial network of volunteers, professionals, statutory, voluntary and faith organisations to support new citizens and multicultural communities with a two-way integration process.

Dawn Judd, Chair of Preston City of Sanctuary who have been working with refugees and asylum seekers in the city since 2017, said: “Few of us can imagine the difficulties that people fleeing Afghanistan have experienced in recent days.

“We are working closely with a range of agencies and groups to support the new arrivals from Afghanistan and we are delighted with the support demonstrated by so many people in Preston.

“We extend a warm arm of friendship as they begin their new lives in Preston.”

Councillor Nweeda Khan, Cabinet member for communities and social justice at Preston City Council, said: “I am pleased to say that the desire to support Afghan refugees was unanimously expressed in Council, and I am proud that we have been able to work quickly to find appropriate accommodation in Preston for these people who are fleeing oppression and persecution.

“Preston is a diverse and friendly city, and I know that these families will get the support they need to start the next chapter of their lives here.

“Having worked closely with government and our colleagues at Lancashire County Council it is my great honour to welcome these families to Preston. It is my hope that they will soon find peace and feel safe and secure in their new home.”

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