Syrian Refugee Support

In 2017 we became the local Community Liaison Support delivery partner for Lancashire Association of Councils for Voluntary Service (LACVS), coordinating the delivery of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes to Syrian refugees who were being resettled in Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde on behalf of the Lancashire County Council Refugee Resettlement Programme.

The project supports and develops the English skills of the families by delivering tutor led class over the first 2 years. The classes include written, spoken and general understanding of the English language to enable them to become self-sufficient and able to communicate with every day things such as doctors, dentist appointments and Job Centres appointments etc.

The families came to our towns as vulnerable individuals, survivors of torture, some with serious medical condition  and women with children all having been identified and approved by the UN as “at risk” which was approved by the Home Office before being resettled in the UK.

At the Volunteer Centre we have welcomed and supported Syrian families into Blackpool, Fleetwood, St Anne’s and Kirkham to resettle on the coast, ensuring they have the support they need to rebuild their lives in their new communities.

If you would like to hear more about our work or you wish to get involved and support this project, then please get in touch with Siobhan Tweedale

email: siobhan.tweedale@blackpoolvolunteers.org.uk

If you need help or you are interested in volunteering, please get in touch.

Contact us

Testimonials

‘I needed to get out of the house and meet other people. I’d only been involved with Military life previously and that was all I knew. I moved to Blackpool and have had to start my life again – this has meant making new links in education, volunteering etc. It’s really been worth it.’

‘It’s built my confidence and got me doing more things. I’ve met loads of new people who are like me and in a similar situation to myself.’

‘I volunteer more for myself and to gain experience of being involved in my community. Before I started volunteering, I had nothing, I had just been on the dole since I left school.’

‘The VA have always been helpful. I always know they’re there.’

‘I became involved due to a request to help other Dads who were in a similar situation I found myself in. I had previously had a lot of difficulties in gaining access to my daughter and had lost hope at many points. The mental health effects and feelings of hopelessness were extreme – I just wanted to show Dads that there is a way to deal with the feelings they have and that they can resolve the situations they’re in. I wanted other Dads to know that they’re not alone – there are lots of Dads out there who are in a similar situation to the one I found myself in.’

‘I think volunteering has helped me grow at great bond with my daughter.’

‘Volunteering has helped me to meet new people and help other people effectively. It has helped me to learn new skills.’

‘I have undergone a steep learning curve and learned so many new things – I didn’t realise before the true extent of deprivation and its effects in Blackpool. The Learning to Feed course also taught me statistics that shocked me regarding the number of babies admitted to hospital with upper Gastrointestinal problems and Gastroenteritis.

‘I have made new connections in the Grange Family Hub and at the Volunteer Academy and I think I will continue to do so now that I have done the Learn 2 Feed Course and can get out in the community.’