18 June 2018

City signs up to stand with refugees

Brighton & Hove has signed up to a statement of solidarity to stand with refugees to mark World Refugee Day on Wednesday 20 June.

Signing the statement is part of a United Nations initiative to highlight the important work cities all over the world are doing to promote inclusion, support refugees and bring communities together.

A number of events are taking place across the city for Refugee Week. The week culminates with ‘Together’ this coming Sunday (24 June). It’s a free day of art, music, theatre and dance workshops, exhibitions and performances, plus stalls, food, and board games from around the world, all designed by refugee and other communities to break down barriers between people. Together runs from 11am to 4pm at the Brighton Dome and the Brighton Art Gallery & Museum and is also part of the national Great Get Together Weekend, in honour of Jo Cox MP who wanted us to celebrate that we have “more in common” than that which divides us.

For a list of events, visit Sanctuary on Sea's Refugee Week 2018 webpage. For the latest updates on what’s going on in the week, go to Sanctuary on Sea’s Facebook page.

Brighton & Hove City Council has also agreed to welcome more refugees as part of the national government’s resettlement programme for some of the world’s most vulnerable refugees.  

We are looking for a small number of private sector landlords with properties of any size willing to work with us to provide homes for refugees from Syria and elsewhere. Refugees arriving here will not be placed into council accommodation or added to the city’s waiting list for residents in housing need.

The city has already taken ten Syrian households on this resettlement programme. National government funds local authorities for refugees arriving here through these schemes – this pays for support to them to settle in a new country, including helping the children to settle in local schools.

We are also happy to support any community group applying to accept a refugee household through the Community Sponsorship Programme. This scheme enables community or faith groups to provide housing, support and a welcome to refugees. For details, visit the government’s Community Sponsorship Programme information on gov.uk.

Councillor Emma Daniel, chair of the council’s Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities & Equalities (NICE) committee, said:

“We are proud to sign the statement of solidarity for the city and even more so to help more families through the resettlement programme.

“There are over 20 million people worldwide currently living outside their countries to escape violence and persecution. The role of areas like Brighton & Hove in working to create inclusive communities and playing our part in humanitarian efforts to help refugees has never been more important.”

If any landlords or community groups would like to find out more about helping to resettle refugees, please email refugeehelp@brighton-hove.gov.uk or call 01273 291248.