Alongside other charities and voluntary groups across the United Kingdom Citizens UK has been completely inundated with offers of assistance from the general public since the latest phase of the Syrian refugee crisis broke last week.
The generosity and desire to contribute has been overwhelming. We have had thousands of offers of spare rooms, hundreds of landlords sign up to make their properties available, surges in donations, and 620 local campaigns to build #RefugeesWelcome groups to engage councils and landlords, and to welcome those resettled, have been supported by over 90,000 people.
In times past, Resettlement Boards have been created, gathering points for key civic and corporate leadership, designed to mobilise and channel the support of the nation to greatest impact to assist the government in responding to crisis.
Whether it was in aiding Jewish children fleeing Nazi Germany, resettling Polish veterans who fought alongside us in the Battle of Britain, supporting the Asian Ugandans fleeing Idi Amin, the Vietnamese Boat People or refugees fleeing violence in Kosovo, civic and corporate leadership has always proven vital in responding to humanitarian disaster.
Without proper coordination there is a very real risk that generosity will be squandered, goodwill left to wither. That is why today we propose the immediate creation of a National Welcome and Resettlement Board. We’ve expressions of interest from across the major British faith traditions, the voluntary sector and from across corporate Britain.
Please email George.Gabriel@citizensuk.org for further details. We hope to announce membership of the board shortly.