Refugee resettlement plays a key role in the global response to humanitarian crises. It saves lives and offers stability to refugees most in need of protection. Refugees are displaced by conflict, violence and persecution. They do not leave their countries out of choice.

The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it. Our resettlement schemes enable us to give the opportunity of a new start to those who have had to flee their homes.

How you can help

For refugee resettlement we require self-contained larger homes rather than spare rooms, particularly in Weymouth and Dorchester.

Register your interest to provide housing for a refugee family

Complete our form to express your interest.

Refugee resettlement in Dorset

Councils volunteer to participate in refugee resettlement. In Dorset we house families in privately rented properties that the landlord has offered or agreed to rent to refugee families.

Dorset Council has made pledges to continue refugee resettlement and the numbers will be determined by the availability of suitable, private housing and local support services.

As of March 2022, we have resettled over 100 Syrian and Afghan refugees under the national government schemes. We work closely with many partners including:

  • the NHS
  • education
  • social care and housing colleagues

This is to bring refugee families to safety and help them lead independent lives. Community groups and local charities are also helping families settle in Dorset, this is via the sponsorship schemes or in partnership with our refugee resettlement team.

Refugee families have been through great hardship and settling in a new country is a huge challenge. Families are entitled to privacy, so councils will not make individual announcements about the timing and locations of resettlement.

Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS)

The Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) was launched in 2015 and has helped those in the greatest need, including people requiring urgent medical treatment, survivors of violence and torture, and women and children at risk. This scheme ended for new arrivals in 2021.

UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS)

The UKRS reaffirms the UK’s ongoing commitment to refugee resettlement, which continues to be an important component of the UK’s humanitarian response. Under the UKRS, the UK will continue to offer a safe and legal route to vulnerable refugees in need of protection.

Community Sponsorship scheme

The Community Sponsorship scheme enables community groups to directly welcome and support a resettled family into their local community. The scheme was established in response to the desire of civil society to support refugees and is in addition to the resettlement undertaken by local authorities.

Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP)

The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) offers support and relocation to those who served alongside our armed forces in Afghanistan. This is primarily offered to those who are employed directly, or in certain special cases via contractors, and are assessed to be at serious risk as a result of such work.

Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS)

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), prioritises those who have assisted the UK efforts in Afghanistan and stood up for values such as:

  • democracy
  • women’s rights and freedom of speech
  • the rule of law
  • vulnerable people, including
    • women and girls at risk
    • members of minority groups at risk

This scheme will resettle up to 20,000 people at risk.

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