Afghan refugees are being accommodated at two hotels in Grantham, as Lincolnshire councils work with the Home Office to allocate permanent homes to as many as possible in the future.
Lincolnshire has welcomed a number of Afghan families to the county as part of the first phase approach to the Home Office’s resettlement programme.
Initially, these evacuated families have arrived in South Kesteven, where they are being supported in two Home Office-appointed bridging hotels whilst awaiting onward location around the country.
They are two of the 74 accommodation units made available across the UK by the Home Office as it works towards welcoming and supporting 7,000 people who worked to assist the UK’s mission in Afghanistan.
Additionally, the UK is committed to helping a further 5,000 vulnerable refugees in the first year.
The hotels are being used by the Home Office as temporary transit accommodation as the families’ needs are assessed and more permanent accommodation is found elsewhere within the UK, with all costs to be met by the government.
Councillor Richard Wright, Leader of North Kesteven District Council, said a statement on behalf of all Lincolnshire councils:
“As the Lincolnshire councils work collaboratively to provide wellbeing and wrap-around care, there is recognition of how traumatic the process of leaving their homeland has been and the commitment that the UK Government has made to support these families.
“We will not be detailing how many families there are or where they may ultimately be settling because of the need to protect their privacy and wellbeing.
“Through our coordinated regional partnership, provision is being made for targeted support with housing, education, healthcare and essential needs in establishing a life in this country.
“The outpouring of support from residents across the county who want to help or donate items to support Afghan families has been incredible, but it is important to emphasise that local councils, associated services and hotels are not currently able to accept direct donations of any kind on behalf of Afghan families.”
Whilst a local co-ordination function is being established, anyone wanting to help can find out more here, while financial donations can be made through one of the official appeals currently in operations such as the British Red Cross.