Kensington and Chelsea council has launched a team dedicated to supporting Afghan refugees in hotels and have secured school places for their children.
As refugees from Afghanistan begin arriving in the borough under the government’s refugee resettlement programme, Kensington and Chelsea Council has launched a dedicated Refugee Support Team to support the refugees in the hotels that they are staying at.
Thousands of Afghans have been evacuated to Britain in recent weeks and have been placed in temporary hotel accommodation for an indefinite period until they are found permanent, long-term accommodation.
Kensington and Chelsea’s Refugee Support Team has been going out to hotels in the borough to assist more than 800 refugees who arrived in the last two weeks.
Council leader Elizabeth Campbell, who has joined the support teams to monitor what other assistance is required, said: “On top of offering permanent homes for people, councils across London are now stepping in to help people straight away on the ground.
“People need access to things we often take for granted, such as medication, finances, food, and educational services.
“We are stepping up our response this week as we face a challenging situation with so many individuals and households arriving in the capital at the same time.
“Our officers have been working around the clock to support the brilliant work already done by so many other agencies and voluntary organisations in recent weeks.”
The organisations coordinating charity and volunteer support are the Kensington and Chelsea Social Council, London Plus and Voluntary and Community Sector Emergency Partnership.
To help the Afghans’ children in getting a head-start in their new life in the borough, the council has also begun securing primary school places for the youngsters.
One hundred and fifty primary school aged children have been given places in local schools.
Kensington and Chelsea’s Head of Early Help and Social Work, Natasha Bishop, said: “We know that having a safe and secure educational base can help young children not only integrate and learn but support them through traumatic times.
“We have secured a number of primary school places already and we will be seeing what the possibilities are for older children and secondary schools.”
The Council has launched an official Amazon Wishlist for locals who want to help. The list is regularly being reviewed and updated as the council identifies items that are needed.
Donations can be made here: https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/community-and-local-life/how-you-can-help-afghanistan-crisis
Featured image credit: https://twitter.com/RBKC