Hammersmith & Fulham residents have been deeply moved by the tragic scenes of families fleeing their homes across Syria and neighbouring countries.
One of the borough’s councillors Ali Hashem, who represents North End Ward in Fulham, himself fled conflict in Syria as a refugee many years ago. He is backing the council’s call to welcome refugees in need.
Now, H&F Council is calling on the government to take urgent action to enable it to give the necessary support.
H&F Council Leader, Stephen Cowan, said: “Like our residents, we have been deeply touched by the terrible plight of people fleeing the horrific war in the Middle East and other humanitarian crises.
“The atrocities that appear in our media are just the tip of the iceberg causing the biggest refugee crisis in a generation.
“There is a long British tradition of welcoming and supporting refugees and Hammersmith & Fulham has always done its bit by offering shelter and support. Indeed, many refugees have subsequently made invaluable contributions to our borough and our country.
“It’s critical that the UK Government now urgently implements a system to identify refugee families so that H&F and other councils can do the right thing and provide the necessary support.
“Finding homes for refugees is not easy in London where the housing crisis causes dreadful hardship for local people, but we have a humanitarian duty to assist families in such desperate need. We know from speaking to residents over recent days and weeks that many stand ready to help us in finding accommodation and to work with refugee families as they arrive to help them recover from their prolonged ordeals and rebuild their lives.
“We are also urging anyone who feels able to, to make a financial donation and to sign the petition calling for the government to take urgent action.
We know people in H&F want to help. If you feel you could make a financial contribution, however large or small, please contact the following organisations.
Refugee Council: A donation of £100 could pay for items such as shoes and clothes for newly arrived children.
Unicef: The UN’s children’s charity is providing life-saving supplies.
Save the Children: a donation of £50 could buy two hygiene kits including soap, towels and toothbrushes.
International Rescue Committee: Supporting people in crisis.
British Red Cross: A donation of £30 could buy 28 mats to help Syria refugees cope with the cold.
Islamic Relief: Three families could be fed for a month on a donation of £210, the charity says, while just £35 can feed a family for two weeks.
Médecins Sans Frontières: The humanitarian agency has three rescue ships in the Mediterranean.
Aylan Kurdi Fund: A fund named after the drowned boy whose pictures emerged in the media. All proceeds will go to the humanitarian agency Hand in Hand for Syria.
Are you organising anything to support refugees?
Let us know what you are planning and we will help promote it.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council has funded Hammersmith and Fulham Refugee Forum’s ‘Our Stories, Our Voices’ project. Refugees, especially young people, were invited to contribute stories and folk tales from their homelands and these have been illustrated by some of those taking part and also recorded.
The BBC clips are part of a larger project called Our Stories, Our Voices, funded by Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
Please sign the petition
“There is a global refugee crisis. The UK is not offering proportional asylum in comparison with European counterparts. We can't allow refugees who have risked their lives to escape horrendous conflict and violence to be left living in dire, unsafe and inhumane conditions in Europe.”