East Sussex Community and Faith Action For Vulnerable Syrian Families (ESCAFA)

An action group of community and faith leaders for the support of Syrian Vulnerable families in East SussexAn Introduction:

In September 2015, then-Prime Minister David Cameron pledged that the UK would welcome 20,000 refugees from camps on the borders of Syria over the next five years. As part of this commitment, East Sussex District and Boroughs have agreed to provide much needed accommodation and support for between 200-260 refugees as part of the Syrian Resettlement Programme. Hastings, Eastbourne, Lewes, Wealden and Rother initially each agreed to resettle 40 people, with Hastings Borough Council hoping to offer homes to an additional 60 over the next five years.

Each of the boroughs and districts in East Sussex will welcome vulnerable Syrians who have fled from the war zone in their homeland, many of whom will have experienced traumas such as torture, loss of everything they own, the deaths of loved ones, and have fled desperately in search of safety, the majority with their young children. Those families coming to the UK under the resettlement scheme have been identified by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as those who are the most vulnerable.

It is vitally important that those offered sanctuary in the UK are helped with their initial arrival, induction and integration into local communities, and immediate needs. Housing and helping the vulnerable Syrians who come to East Sussex requires more than just the council, and that is why the East Sussex Community & Faith Action Group for Vulnerable Syrian Families has been established to support the government scheme. The action group is made up of people from local faith and community groups and individuals who are able to offer practical support, which includes help with finding suitable privately owned, vacant accommodation that might be available, to providing English language lessons and help with filling out forms and generally integrating into the local community.

If you would like more information about the ESCAFA network, please come to our quarterly Forums. See flyer with information below. Alternatively, please contact us.