‘Help will be on hand’ for Bute’s Syrian families

The first Syrian families to be re-homed in Scotland arrived at Glasgow Airport on November 17 - though it is expected to be a few more weeks before the 15 families destined for Bute are brought to the UK. (Pic - Hemedia)

The first Syrian families to be re-homed in Scotland arrived at Glasgow Airport on November 17 - though it is expected to be a few more weeks before the 15 families destined for Bute are brought to the UK. (Pic - Hemedia)

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Community efforts on Bute to welcome the 15 Syrian families soon to arrive on the island as part of the UK government’s Refugee Resettlement Programme are gathering pace.

A group of 45 local volunteers met this week to try and put the expressions of support from the community on a firmer footing before the families, who have been displaced from their homes by the devastating civil war in Syria, arrive on the island.

The first Syrian refugees to be re-homed in Scotland under the programme arrived at Glasgow Airport on Tuesday, but Bute’s newest residents are not expected to land in the UK for a few more weeks.

One of those 45 volunteers, John Duncan, told The Buteman that a safe meeting space would be provided in Rothesay to give the families a chance to mingle with each other and with community volunteers - if they want to do so - for the first few weeks of their time on Bute.

Mr Duncan said: “They [the families] won’t meet one another until they start their journey to the island from the Lebanon, so we want to provide space in the short-term for them to get together and meet with us if they wish to.”

Rothesay-based housing association Fyne Homes has also confirmed to The Buteman that it is able to house seven of those 15 Syrian families because of the over-supply of housing stock on Bute.

* More detail in this week’s issue of The Buteman - on sale from Thursday, November 19.