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.