In the wake of the Afghan crisis, emergency ‘bridging accommodation’ was set up in hotels and other accommodation, such as, student housing, serviced apartments across the UK. These are being used by the Home Office as temporary transit accommodation as families’ needs are assessed and more permanent accommodation is found. The accommodation maybe anywhere in the UK.
The council have agreed to provide ‘wrap around’ support at the bridging accommodation in Leeds. This support is led and provided by the council’s Resettlement Team.
As it currently stands the priority with the guests at the hotel has been to deal with issues that are currently the responsibility of statutory organisations, for example:-
- Identifying essential and longer-term needs from the families in the hotels
- Ensuring health support is provided in the hotel or through local healthcare providers to meet immediate needs
- Health screening
- Ensuring all residents are given access to NHS services including providing access to GPs and are provided with NHS numbers
- Working with the DWP to help residents apply for benefits
- Getting school places
The council’s Resettlement Team are currently on-site everyday Monday to Friday. Other organisations who attend are DWP, Health Visitors, the Home Office etc. Council services are also coming into the hotel to provide creche facilities, activities for young people and we are also looking at ESOL provision in the hotel with the council’s Employment and Skills service. The Home Office and the Resettlement Team work closely together to ensure complimentary support is provided.
Please note ‘wrap around’ support will vary from council to council.
Discussions will take place about support from the Migrant Third Sector moving forward. However, be advised there is no funding for this yet.
Afghan Refugees Contacting the Migrant Third Sector:
If anyone contacts a Migrant Third Sector Organisation with questions please direct/gain consent to share the information with Samantha Powell, Third Sector and Migration Partnerships Manager: [email protected] and please include ‘Afghan Refugees’ in the title of the email, details of the client and circumstances/concerns whereby we can make further enquiries to respond.
If people want clarity on the different Afghan Resettlement Schemes these are available on the governments website which are:-
- Afghan citizens resettlement scheme – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy: further information on eligibility criteria, offer details and how to apply – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
This document provides information from the Government for anyone who has family left in Afghanistan UK immigration routes for Afghan nationals – House of Commons Library (parliament.uk)
Many thanks for your support.