Leeds named one of UK's 'most welcoming' cities for Syrian refugees

Leeds is one of the top ten cities in the UK for welcoming refugees from Syria, a charity has revealed.

By Susie Beever
Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 4:33 pm
Syrian children at a refugee camp in Lebanon. Picture: PA
Syrian children at a refugee camp in Lebanon. Picture: PA

The city has become home to 315 people escaping war and persecution in their homeland, according to the most recent data released by the Government from their flagship VPRS refugee scheme.

The data has been compiled by Citizens UK, which names Leeds as ninth on the list of of cities to have resettled people from the war-torn country since the scheme was launched in September 2015.

Neighbouring city Bradford meanwhile has been named the UK's third most welcoming city, having rehomed 473 people escaping the conflict in Syria.

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A Leeds charity has echoed the news, praising the Leeds community for its efforts in making refugees feel at home.

Riley Coles, volunteer manager for Leeds Asylum Seekers' Support Network (LASSN), said: "Leeds is a famously friendly city and here at LASSN we've seen how residents have opened up their homes and built lasting friendships with Syrian refugees. People have offered to teach them English, helped them to get involved and feel settled in their new city.

"The Leeds Syrian community is very active and organised and they're very keen to give back. A lot of resettled refugees have gotten involved in their own projects.

"We've also seen how people who have arrived earlier from Syria have helped welcome new refugees resettled here."

London was named the UK's 'most welcoming' city, having become home to 875 Syrian refugees since the scheme was launched.

Since launching the resettlement scheme in response to the Syrian conflict, the Government has vowed to resettle 20,000 refugees by 2020.