An update on supporting those impacted by the situation in Afghanistan
We know many of you have questions about the situation in Afghanistan, what Kirklees Council is doing, whether we will be housing people and what you can do to help.
There are two different programmes to support people coming from Afghanistan:
- The ongoing Afghan Relocation Scheme which Kirklees is signed up to. This is a scheme to move people out of Afghanistan who worked alongside the armed forces and their lives are seen to be at serious risk. The council is already supporting people through this scheme.
- The Afghan Resettlement Programme, announced this week, is the plan to bring in 20,000 people to the UK in response to the current situation – but the details of this are not yet confirmed.
Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “Firstly, I want to be really clear about our position as a council. Kirklees is a place of welcome and we are ready to support any humanitarian response to the situation in Afghanistan. Many of the people arriving in the UK have worked with British forces over the past few years and it’s right that we can offer them a place of safety until they find something more permanent.
“This will involve working closely with the Home Office and other key partners so Kirklees can help to house and support those whose lives that are in danger and at risk. We are working through with our partners how we do this, with safe accommodation and the right health, social and wellbeing support being of paramount importance in our planning.
“It’s very likely that Kirklees will also be housing people arriving from Afghanistan under the Afghan Resettlement Programme, likely within hotels, but it has not been confirmed yet how many people or where they will be staying.
“We’re continuing to work closely with the Home Office and Migration Yorkshire and when we have details confirmed we will share them with you. In preparation, our council teams and partners are working to pull together a Local Integration offer that can be stepped up if needed. This builds on the great partnership work already in place across Kirklees.
“Kirklees has a really proud record when it comes to supporting others and we’re once again ready to support people who desperately need our help. However, I am also urging Government to make sure all local authorities are available and asked to support the Afghan refugees and that councils across the country are given the resources they need to provide safety and support.”
Help Kirklees Council will offer those who come to Kirklees
- Council staff from Housing Solutions and in the International New Arrivals team will meet and support the family intensively from arrival and support with all immediate needs including; health, understanding life in the UK and Kirklees and children starting school
- Sanctuary Clothing Project providing clothes, footwear if needed
- Partnership Welcome Sessions at community venues
- Welcome Mentors – volunteers who speak a range of community languages and know exactly what it is like to be a new arrival into Kirklees and provide befriending and buddying support
- English language support by the This Way for English Programme
- Sports and physical activities will be on offer
- Local groups and organisations offering to be a place of welcome
How you can help
- Volunteer your time to help by becoming a Welcome Mentor by contacting please contact or Welcome Mentors – Third Sector Leaders (tslkirklees.org.uk)
- If you can offer activities or things people could go to please send your details through to MigrationAndResettlement@kirklees.gov.uk
Please be patient with our partners – they are particularly busy currently.