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11 Syrian refugees, identified as ‘priority cases’ by the United Nations, arrived in the seaside town of Aberystwyth in December 2015. They were the first to be resettled in Wales, in the UK, under central government plans to assist the most vulnerable of those seeking asylum away from countries crippled by civil war and persecution.

The integration of the Syrian refugees is coordinated by the ‘Task and Finish’ Group set up by Ceredigion Council to ensure the resettlement takes a multi dimensional approach.

Relevant partner organisations that work with and advise the Group include representatives from Housing Associations, Health Boards, Police, Universities, Fire and Rescue Services, and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Alongside British Red Cross support staff, the group offer practical assistance with tasks such as signing tenancy agreements, food shopping and registering with a doctor.

As well as assisting the families to connect with Arabic speakers and religious groups in the area, they assist with integration to the wider local society. The longer term strategy includes offering English and Welsh language classes and an introduction to local culture and customs. (Social Innovation Europe)

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