How you can help Afghan refugees seeking asylum

South Cambs District Council and North Herts District Council have pledged to help Afghan refugees arriving in the country

South Cambs District Council and North Herts District Council have pledged to help Afghan refugees arriving in the country - Credit: Google Street View/NHDC

After pledging to help Afghan refugees, councils are advising residents in North Herts and South Cambs on how they can aid those fleeing the war-torn country.

North Herts District Council has been working with housing association charities settle and First Garden City Homes to ensure that those immediately seeking asylum in North Herts - and in future instalments of the national resettlement programme - are catered for.

In a joint statement from NHDC, settle and First Garden City Homes, a representative said they are working to provide housing to two Afghan families this year.

The statement continued: "We are also reviewing our capacity to accept more families and if we are able to do more then we will do so, subject to securing suitable accommodation."

The British Red Cross has also launched a national crisis appeal and is calling for donations, and Hertfordshire Community Foundation has set up a JustGiving site to help refugees as they arrive in the country.

NHDC is also appealing to private landlords and residents with second homes in North Herts to come forward if they are able to offer housing for the Afghan refugee resettlement scheme. Those with spare rooms or properties can be a host for Room for Refugees.

Meanwhile South Cambs District Council has put forward five more homes for Afghan families - meaning up to around 40 refugees can now be housed.

In August the council said it would provide homes to three families. The five additional properties have now been identified following conversations with local housing associations, and have been made available through the Afghan Locally Employed Support (LES) scheme.

Lead cabinet member for housing Cllr John Batchelor said:  "I’m pleased that we are working closely with partners, Cambridge City Council, and housing associations, to provide essential housing and support to some people who are most in need.

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"Linking Afghan families up with a home and support to build a new life is a very practical way that we can do our bit to assist. I wish the families who will be arriving soon all the very best in their new lives.”

Cambs residents who would like to help can volunteer or donate to Cambridge Refugee Resettlement Campaign or Cambridge Convoy Refugee Action Group.