Refugees settle in Motherwell and Bellshill

Refugees get a warm North Lanarkshire welcome.
Refugees get a warm North Lanarkshire welcome.

Thirty-six Syrian refugees received a warm welcome to their new homes from North Lanarkshire Council and its partners.

The families have arrived over the last few weeks as part of the UK Government’s Syrian Refugee Resettlement Programme, and are living in Motherwell and Bellshill.

At a welcome event in the Sir John Wilson Town Hall in Airdrie, the group were welcomed by Councillor Pat O’Rourke, chair of the council working group which oversees the programme. They were joined by the first group of refugees who have settled in Airdrie and Coatbridge since their arrival between November and January.

Councillor O’Rourke said: “Already the families are settling into their homes and the children are at school. We understand the anxiety the families must feel arriving in a new country after all they have experienced in Syria and the refugee camps, so we have a full support programme in place to reassure them and help them adjust to a new life.”

Council depute leader Councillor Paul Kelly added: “The 12 families living in Airdrie and Coatbridge are relishing their new lives, thanks to the support from the council and other agencies and, importantly, the friendship offered by local volunteers and community groups.

“The group have made excellent progress with learning English and the service we have been offering has been recognised by the Home Office as an example of best practice across the UK.

“The feedback from these families on their move to North Lanarkshire is extremely positive and, with their help, we will use this experience to help the second group of refugees settle in to their new homes.”

The second group of refugees arrived in North Lanarkshire from temporary camps in Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt after fleeing violence in Syria.

Motherwell and Bellshill were chosen to accommodate the families because of the availability of homes and school places.