This week, SHP celebrated our continuing refugee resettlement work by welcoming the Government’s Immigration Minister at a community event in Lambeth.

Caroline Nokes MP visited All Saints church in West Dulwich to meet refugee families who have been resettled in the borough under the flagship Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS).

The event, celebrating World Refugee Week, brought together a range of organisations involved in helping the families integrate into the local community including SHP, Lambeth Council and Citizens UK as well as representatives from local sponsors, faith and community groups.

The visit was planned to coincide with a new announcement from the Home Office that the UK will continue to resettle thousands of refugees under a new scheme set to start next year.

Since 2015, 16,000 individuals have been resettled across the country under the VPRS. SHP has helped resettle over 40 families across three London boroughs – including 27 in Lambeth.

Meeting the refugee families
The immigration minister took time to meet all the refugees present (with an SHP support worker translating), speaking about their experiences of life in the UK.

Many were keen to stress to the minister the importance of continuing the Government’s commitment to resettling refugees in the UK. Several individuals with family members still in Syria also raised the question of family reunification.

The Immigration Minister also took the opportunity to hear from organisations that have been essential in supporting the families’ integration into the local community, discussing topics such as access to mental health support.

Speaking at the event, the Minister said: "I’ve been honoured to meet with refugees today who have come to the UK to start a new life."

“Lambeth Council have been leaders in London in supporting the resettlement of refugees, working hand-in-hand with the local community and support groups to ensure they have the best access to housing, employment and local schools.”

New Global Resettlement Scheme
With the existing Vulnerable Person Resettlement Scheme concluding next year the Government has announced that will it continue to resettle refugees under a new programme from 2020. The scheme will resettle refugees at current levels, pledging to resettle 5,000 people in the first year.

This new scheme will consolidate three different resettlement programmes into one global scheme. It will also expand the geographical focus away from the Middle East, allowing for more proactive resettlement in instances where there is a more immediate need for protection.

Find out more about our work with refugees.