A great many of us in the UK have been sickened by the horrible things said in some quarters about the refugees who are escaping war torn countries Syria in order to try and avoid a terrible death. We have all seen the disturbing pictures of those that didn’t make it and have been urging the government to offer more help.

Labour led Leeds City Council, sick of waiting for the government to come up with a plan, have put their hands up with an offer to house Syrian refuges.

Leeds City Council.is already a voluntary member of the National Ayslum Dispersal programme and has previously managed to house many asylum seekers for Afghanistan and elsewhere. But has now committed to take on further Syrian refugees on top of that commitment. The actions of Leeds City Council and other Labour led councils seem to have had the desired effect as since these commitments the UK government has agreed to take on mor Syrian refugees than previously agreed, and announcement Leeds City Council has welcomed.

Labours Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“We have been witnessing the most devastating horror in the news as terrible human tragedy is escalating as a result of the conflict in Syria. Desperate people are battling to keep their families alive as they are displaced from their homes and it is our responsibility as a city and a nation to help.

“Normally we would not discuss our efforts to help people fleeing unspeakable horror so we can protect them as they settle in to their new lives. We want to reassure people that Leeds is playing its part in supporting people whose lives have been torn apart and will continue to do so.

“We are also calling on the government to give us some clarity about their proposals and how we as local authority can respond to them.

“Leeds has a long and proud history of welcoming people from many different countries and we would not be the city we are today without our rich and diverse communities from all over the world.”

Anyone in Leeds who would like to do something to help with the refugee crisis can do so through a number of organisations in the city working with refugees and asylum seekers who rely on the goodwill and generosity of the public:

Donations – for direct support to destitute asylum seekers, with food, clothing and money donations – main contact PAFRAS – 0113 262 2163,

Meeting Point in Armley,

Volunteer– help with English lessons in refugees’ homes, or provide a room in your home for a destitute asylum seeker to sleep for a day or two. LASSN

Other welcoming activities – Leeds City of Sanctuary co-ordinate activities to make Leeds more welcoming to refugees and asylum seekers, see their website It includes a link to ‘Here are 6 things you can do to help refugees if you live in Leeds’.

For more information about helping refugees around the region you can also contact Migration Yorkshire at admin@migrationyorkshire.org.uk

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