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‘Extend the Welcome’

By Ibby Osman, student at Cathays High School Cardiff

Leaders from Citizens Cymru Wales joined chapters from across the Citizens UK network for the Citizens UK Civil Society Summit in London on 29 June this year. Nirushan Sudarasan, Ibby Osman and Abdi Osman were among the Welsh cohort that traveled up to celebrate Citizens UK’s 30th anniversary, hosted amazingly by Kings College London on the Strand.

It was an amazing and inspiring day with lots of fascinating testimony from so many leaders including a resettled Syrian family from Milton Keynes whose children are flourishing in school. They took to the stage to launch the ‘Extend the Welcome’ campaign – which is all about making sure the UK government continues to resettle refugees once the current programme ends in 2020.

I was very pleased to have had the opportunity to stand up and speak about what my school is doing in respect of refugees. Cathays High School has always had a tradition of welcoming pupils and just a few months ago I was involved in action to get Cathays High School to become an accredited Refugee Welcome School and present what we are doing to welcome refugees at an event at St. David’s Catholic College in Cardiff.

At the Summit I also had the chance to meet with Neil Jameson CBE, the outgoing Executive Director of Citizens UK, and have a picture with him in a Human Chain along with Nirushan Sudarsan.

You might be thinking now, how can you help get involved too to ‘Extend the Welcome’. Well, there are plenty of ways, just see below:

  1. Add your name to the petition by clicking here- and help send a clear message to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javed, who is now reviewing the scheme, that we want to extend the welcome we have shown so far to refugees after 2020.Watch and share our campaign video on Facebook to help us spread the word and keep the pressure up.
  2. Most importantly, we are asking Citizens members to organise an ‘Extend the Welcome’ celebration over the next few months, to celebrate the impact of our Refugees Welcome work so far, and to convince our local MPs that it needs to continue after 2020.
  3. Finally, we are running a survey across the UK to find our where councils stand on resettling refugees, so please do write to your local council with the following questions:
  • How many refugee families have you resettled?
  • How has the process been? What have you learnt?
  • What is your plan up to 2020? Will you be resettling more?
  • Would you consider continuing after 2020? What would enable you to continue?

Send the responses to your survey to info@citizensuk.org

For help or support with any aspect of this please get in touch with jonathan.cox@citizenswales.org.uk   

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