REFUGEE CRISIS – A MESSAGE FROM SOUTHWARK COUNCIL LEADER CLLR PETER JOHN / MAYOR OF LEWISHAM SIR STEVE BULLOCK’S STATEMENT
REFUGEE CRISIS – A MESSAGE FROM SOUTHWARK COUNCIL LEADER CLLR PETER JOHN
The refugee crisis across Europe has shocked and distressed us all, and Southwark was among the first councils to publicly state that we will welcome refugees to our borough.
We await more clarity about the government’s plans, and support the call from the Local Government Association for central government to ensure we have adequate funding to properly support individuals and families who come to us for help.
I have been heartened by the many messages of support that have reached me from our residents, many of whom are keen to help in whatever way they can. Some have asked if they can donate supplies such as sleeping bags and tents, others have generously offered their spare room to those affected.
The council is speaking to local charities to coordinate our efforts. While we want to do what we can as quickly as possible in this rapidly changing situation, we need to get it right. The links below give details of what support is required.
For example, some charities have asked that people contribute money rather than items, and we have added links to some of their fundraising pages below.
The Red Cross is raising money for its Europe Refugee Crisis Appeal here
Save the Children is raising money for its Child Refugee Crisis Appeal here
Oxfam is raising money for its Refugee Crisis Emergency Appeal here
Details of many other charities who are supporting refugees can be found here
For those who would like to offer a spare room to a refugee family, there are a few organisations that can help coordinate it. The Independent published useful advice here.
We will update this page as more information becomes available, and I have asked Cllr Fiona Colley, Cabinet Member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance, and Cllr Michael Situ, Cabinet Member for Communities and Safety to take forward our response to the crisis. Thank you again for the help you have offered and the compassion that Southwark residents have shown in the face of this crisis. I would expect nothing less from this great borough.
Cllr Peter John
MAYOR OF LEWISHAM SIR STEVE BULLOCK’S STATEMENT
The refugee crisis resulting from the continuing war in Syria has touched many of us. It is clear that the instinct of the British people to offer humanitarian help to those in need is as strong as ever. Lewisham residents are playing their part already and expect their Council to play its part too.
I welcome the statement made by the Prime Minister and we, along with other councils across London and further afield, are making preparations to receive our share of refugees over the next few days.
As indicated in the Prime Minister’s statement, officials from the Council and government departments will need to share information about how this can be done and I hope it will happen very quickly.
We are already helping to support local actions by our fellow citizens and will share details as we receive them on our website.
See the Lewisham for Refugees Facebook group, which is co-ordinating donations.
Sir Steve Bullock