Volunteers from Refugees Welcome in Richmond met with Sarah Olney, MP for Richmond Park, today on Friday 11th March at her constituency office.
We discussed setting up a database collating offers of local sponsorship and accommodation to facilitate resettlement of Ukrainian refugees as soon as the proposed government sponsorship scheme is announced.
Other issues we raised included the urgent requirements of newly arrived Afghan families, and the need to publicise the search for private-let accommodation.
The following Tuesday, Sarah raised our concerns during a debate in Parliament and shared details in her newsletter.
I am really grateful to a [group] in my constituency called Refugees Welcome in Richmond, who came to see me on Friday. They are very concerned that the renewed focus on Ukrainian refugees will obscure the effort that is still going on to rehome our Afghan refugees. So many of them are still in hotels and I would really like to see a renewed focus on getting those refugees resettled. I think the situations are different: we need immediate, potentially temporary shelter for women and children fleeing Ukraine; and our Afghan refugees—whole families—need permanent resettlement. The requirements are different. The effort to resettle one group does not need to take up the efforts already employed in resettling the other.Sarah Olney MP, speaking in Parliament on 15th March 2022.
Watch the video of Sarah’s full speech here on Parliament Live.
We have further meetings planned with Munira Wilson, MP for Twickenham, and Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council.
Please contact us to share your concerns and support for refugees.