As the MP for York Central, a City of Sanctuary and the UK’s only Human Rights City, Rachael Maskell MP will do all she can to support people living in York and those who come to our city. This last week, Ms Maskell has been making the case in Parliament that all should be adequately housed, Ms Maskell also knows that York residents want to be generous in supporting refugees who are literally fleeing their homeland for their lives.
We have all been shocked by the crisis in Afghanistan, and believe that like other places across Yorkshire and the country, York must step up and play its part too. With the regime change in Afghanistan, many lives are in grave danger, and tragically some have been violently taken. While some of those who served our Armed Forces, have not been able to escape from Afghanistan, some have already arrived and are looking to be resettled, here in the UK. However, with the Council yet to source homes for the Afghanistan guards and interpreters, those here under the ARAP (Afghan Relocation and Assistant Policy) scheme, Rachael Maskell MP has enlisted the help of others.
From talking to Migration Yorkshire, Ms Maskell has reached out to many different sources to see how they can provide homes for families arriving in the UK, and how buildings could be repurposed. Ms Maskell is contacting many statutory authorities, like the Ministry of Defence, to host fleeing Afghan families alongside other public body authorities. She has also approached faith and community groups and private developers who have an interest in York.
Rachael Maskell MP says:
“So many people want to help support refugees from Afghanistan find a safe and secure home. I am delighted that North Star have answered that call and through their partners Social Vision are able to provide homes for six families to be resettled in York. I hope that this is just a start and other developers will also be inspired to see how they can support people coming to York. None of us can begin to even imagine the trauma that these families have been through, and I am grateful of all of the offers of support to date, however, housing is the first thing that must be addressed, and am delighted that those I am talking to recognise the contribution that they can make.
“Having co-ordinated a meeting across all the voluntary and statutory agencies in York, I am confident that our city will work together to give these refugees a ‘warm welcome’. I am also talking to members of our Armed Forces who have served alongside these brave men and women and believe it is important that we support those, who supported them while serving our country.”
Paul Ellis, North Star says:
“We’re acutely aware of the situation in Afghanistan at the minute, so when Rachael approached us, we were only too happy to help. As a local company with a strong social conscience, North Star is committed to our great city and supporting our less fortunate residents when we have the opportunity to do so.”
Joe Gardham, Social Vision says:
“York has a proud tradition of welcoming and supporting the most vulnerable communities and is rightly regarded as a City of Sanctuary. We know many residents will do everything they can to help, and we’re delighted to be able to source six properties so those fleeing the terror of their homeland can resettle safely. A roof over your head is just the start, and we remain committed to working with all in the city who can help those facing disadvantage, isolation and marginalisation find stability, sanctuary and fulfil their potential.”