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Rothesay to welcome Afghan refugees

Three houses on the island are to be offered to families who are fleeing the Taliban

By Megan Bonar
Rothesay to welcome Afghan refugees

Three families of refugees from Afghanistan will soon call Rothesay home, according to a report presented to a meeting of Argyll and Bute council last week (September 28).

The report noted that approximately 8,000 refugees arrived in the United Kingdom from Afghanistan in August after Taliban forces took control of the country.

Housing associations ACHA and Fyne Homes have made two three-bed and one two-bed property available ready for the arrivals.

The Resettlement Team in Rothesay which was set up in 2015 will deliver all of the support required to the Afghan families and any school-age children will attend Rothesay Joint Campus. They will also be supported by local GPs and Rothesay Job Centre. Some financial assistance will also be made available.

Councillor Jean Moffat told the Isle of Bute News: “I think Rothesay is an excellent place for Afghan families to call home. We have paved the way because of our strong Syrian community.

“The Syrians were placed here because Rothesay had the best available housing in Argyll and Bute at the time. Rothesay has since been very accepting and welcoming, I would expect that is the reason we have been put forward again.”

Marlene Hill of Bute Community Council simply added: “We’ve become very multinational on Bute, so we welcome them.”

The families will be brought to the town as part of the Afghan Locally Employed Staff (LES) Relocation Scheme which has been put in place to ‘support and relocate eligible LES in recognition of their service and an assessment of likely current and future risk to them due to the nature of their work for the UK government and British armed forces in the evolving situation in Afghanistan.’

The exact timing of their arrival on the island remains unclear.

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