Working party plans to welcome refugees to Hunstanton

Yoga instructor Katie Lomas was inspired to raise money fir the Syrian refugees after travelling to the Calais refugee camp, known as The Jungle - picture submitted SUS-160905-093546001
Yoga instructor Katie Lomas was inspired to raise money fir the Syrian refugees after travelling to the Calais refugee camp, known as The Jungle - picture submitted SUS-160905-093546001
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A working party has been set up in a West Norfolk town in a bid to support Syrian refugees as they settle in the county.

Fifty people from the war-torn country are due to arrive in Norwich over the coming months, with the first group expected early in the new year.

Now, town councillors in Hunstanton have agreed to establish a committee to form links between the resort and the refugees.

The decision, which was made at the authority’s meeting on Friday night, follows a plea for action from resident Yvonne Bridger.

She said afterwards: “The first thing is to bring them over to have a day out, just to show them there’s more to Norfolk than Norwich. That’s just the beginning of it.”

It is also hoped that residents and community groups will be encouraged to come forward to provide a point of contact and support for individual refugees or families.

Mrs Bridger, who was co-opted onto the council during the meeting, first urged the town council to act in June, following the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox.

In a previous letter to the authority, she wrote: “She campaigned tirelessly on behalf of those afflicted day in, day out, by suffering and war, realities which must be difficult for most of us to conceive of whilst living in the safe seaside town of Hunstanton.

“My request is a response to a situation in which a young woman and mother, very local-community focussed, lost her life.

“Can it really be too much to make two gestures as outlined above in support of one of the key causes for which she fought?”

Around 15 refugees are expected to arrive in Norwich early next year, with further groups expected in 2017 and early 2018.

The groups will be housed in the city as part of government plans to accommodate 20,000 refugees from the conflict in Britain by 2020.

West Norfolk Council leaders have previously stated that Norwich had deemed to be the area of the county best suited to housing the refugees and meeting their religious, social and educational needs.

The authority has indicated it will be guided by central government advice on whether Lynn could be deemed suitable in the future.