Somerset is committed to supporting displaced people in the county as they seek to resettle and navigate a new life in the UK; from learning a new language, integrating into the local community, becoming independent and settling into a new and often very different daily life to previously. More and more, mutual benefit is being experienced as refugees share their knowledge and talents within their communities, creating a richness of culture and diversity.
In partnership with local services, charities and the generosity and kindness of communities, many individuals and families have been able to resettle safely and happily, with Somerset’s Welcome Hubs playing a key role for many during the earliest days of resettlement.
We are very fortunate to benefit from six Welcome Hubs across Somerset, offering access to essential information and services in those very first days of arriving, and for many they remain a source of invaluable support, creativity and knowledge throughout their time in the county,” advises Cllr Federica Smith-Roberts, Lead Member for Communities, Housing and Culture at Somerset Council.
Offering vital assistance in finding a home, accessing public services or healthcare, seeking childcare and education services, as well as in finding work, the hubs are a first – and increasingly ongoing – port of call for anyone seeking guidance, support and connection.
Kotob Daoud arrived in Somerset with his wife and children three and half years ago, having fled his native Syria, just as Covid and national lockdowns hit the UK.
A talented musician, artist and sculptor he speaks of his resettlement experience, the overwhelming support he has received, and the inspiring journey he has been on in expressing and establishing himself through his art and his music, culminating in an exhibition of some of his paintings earlier this year, to mark Refugee Week 2023. A film of his story can be viewed at Resettlement in Somerset: A Syrian story
Cllr Smith-Roberts continued:
Mr Daoud and his family are a true inspiration. Despite the devastating trauma and the challenges he has faced – from fleeing his country, bringing his family to safety in a new and very different culture, living with health conditions – he demonstrates how being open to opportunities and the support available, connecting and sharing knowledge and expertise, can create understanding, empathy, and a richness and diversity in our communities which I believe is of long term value to all.
Somerset has a long history of supporting people in need, no matter the circumstances. There are a number of ways to support displaced people in Somerset and more information can be found at Refugee resettlement in Somerset
Locations and contact details for Welcome Hubs across Somerset can be found at Welcome Hubs.
If you are able to offer your time, skills or resources to supporting guests, please get in touch at email@example.com.
To find out how you could change a child’s story as a foster carer for an Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Child, visit www.fosteringinsomerset.org.uk or call 0800 587 9900 to find out more.