Leeds helps refugees from Syria

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A group of refugee families fleeing war-torn Syria have received a special welcome from the city.

Half a dozen families were greeted as part of the Leeds Resettlement Programme.

And Leeds City Council staff donated gifts to youngsters as part of the Child Friendly Leeds campaign. But one young refugee was unable to collect his gift in person as he is in hospital receiving treatment for injuries caused by a bomb in Syria.
Coun Lisa Mulherin, executive member for children and families, said: “We will probably never understand what these children have had to go through during their short lives. The least we can do is to show that they are welcome in our city - that Leeds is a safe haven and a place where all children can thrive.

“I would like to thank children’s services staff who donated and put together the gift packages to help the children and their families settle into their new city.

“Leeds has a long and proud history of welcoming people from many different countries and we would not be the city we are today without our rich and diverse communities from all over the world.”

Leeds is as a city of sanctuary with many organisations working together to support refugees from all over the world. The council has agreed to take 225 Syrian refugees over a two-year period.

This is the second time Leeds City Council has arranged for gifts to be given to child refugees coming to the city. Toys and arts materials were collected by staff in the council’s children’s services directorate before Christmas to give the first group of refugee children a warm welcome to the city.

Last week Leeds helped celebrate national Refugee Week with a series of events.