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Redbridge Citizens call on council to rehome Syryian child refugees

PUBLISHED: 17:24 08 September 2016 | UPDATED: 17:24 08 September 2016

Council leader Jas Athwal. wth Miriam Clifton, age 3 as  Paddington Bear.

Council leader Jas Athwal. wth Miriam Clifton, age 3 as Paddington Bear.

Archant

Last week, Redbridge Citizens met the leader of the council to ask if he would pledge to rehome five Syrian unaccompanied child refugees.

After visiting the Calais camp last month, a father-of-two is backing those calls for the council to rehome five Syrian unaccompanied child refugees.

Faisal Lalloo, who lives in Primrose Road, South Woodford, was shocked at the unsafe conditions up to 800 children are living in.

He said: “It’s horrible.

“The two cousins I met are living in a dirty caravan which doesn’t lock, on their own.

“Every night, they try to escape.

“They are alone, and I know what that feels like. My father died when I was seven, and I became an orphan.

“I had family support and they don’t, they need our help.

Last week, Redbridge Citizens met the leader of the council to ask if he would pledge to rehome five Syrian unaccompanied child refugees.

Campaigners dressed as Paddington Bear met with Cllr Jas Athwal outside Redbridge Town Hall, in High Road, Ilford.

Cllr Athwal pledged that the council would not turn its back on the ongoing crisis.

He said: “I want to accept as many refugee children as possible; I don’t want to set a target too low; or too high.

“I will do everything in my power to help; and I look forward to working with the Redbridge Citizens group to achieve real outcomes for refugees fleeing from these terrible situations in countries like Syria.”

And Captain Naomi Clifton from the Ilford corp of the Salvation Army praised Cllr Athwal’s sentiments.

She said: “We were very encouraged that Cllr Athwal accompanied us to the vigil for three-year-old Alan Kurdi [the toddler found drowned last summer] and other nameless child refugees at the Home Office on Friday.

“At the vigil, he called on the Home Office to deliver the full package, in order to ensure that councils aren’t making

empty promises.

“The situation in Calais is getting worse; it’s horrendous, and charities are running out of food for the first time.

“We were delighted that three out of four MPs in Redbridge voted in favour of the Dubs amendment.

“Now they need to press the government to make it happen.

“We want to help the borough deliver on this.”

“We have demonstrated on numerous occasions that we want to work with the council to make resettlement work.

“We found 14 people interested in being foster care parents on one night and four more have contacted us since.

“Now it is the council’s turn to show that they want to work in partnership and save the lives of five unaccompanied refugee kids.”


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