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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice

Dorset's Syrian refugee response

The council is coordinating responses from agencies in our area. Find out what it might mean in Dorset.

Syrian refugee crisis: what it means for Dorset

Millions of refugees have fled their homes due to the civil war in Syria since 2011. 

The British government has pledged to settle 20,000 refugees in the UK by the end of this Parliament and places have now been pledged across the country for these individuals. 

Locally, Dorset Council is coordinating the response from agencies in our area. The following explains the current situation and what it might mean here in Dorset:

What is a refugee?

Refugees are people outside their country of origin because of feared persecution, conflict, violence, or other circumstances that have seriously disturbed public order, and who, as a result, require 'international protection'.

Who the refugees are

The UK is resettling families from the refugee camps in countries around Syria. It selects people in the most desperate need of help through the Syrian Resettlement Programme (SRP) which prioritises victims of extreme violence or torture, women and children and those at risk because of their gender, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

All refugees have security checks carried out by the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) before they get to the UK.

What we have done so far

Dorset has pledged to resettle 30 families from Syria during this programme. So far, we have helped a number of families resettle across the county and families are doing extremely well living independently in their new, welcoming communities. 

Where refugees will live

We are considering where services are to avoid isolation and allow integration into the wider community. It is likely that families will be spread out as refugees will not be given access to social housing but will use the private rented sector.

How this will be paid for

The Home Office provides councils with funding for refugees and extra funding can be sought for more severe cases.

How long refugees will stay

Families are granted 5 year humanitarian protection status. After 5 years, they can see if they are eligible to apply to stay longer in the UK or they can return to Syria depending on the situation back home.

How you can help

At the moment the Government is not asking people to offer spare rooms in their own homes.

Many people have offered their support and positive messages for people who have been through terrible experiences and we thank everyone for their offers of help.

The government recommends various organisations through which you can give help.

We are actively seeking privately rented accommodation for Syrian refugee families. There are a number of benefits to becoming a landlord through this programme including secure rent for up to five years, tenancy agreements and inventories arranged, all contact with the families is through a caseworker and many more benefits. If you are interested or would like to find out more information please complete the form below and we will get back to you asap. 


Register your interest to provide housing for a Syrian family


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