“Our thoughts are with all those so acutely affected by the current crisis in Afghanistan; we are committed to extending a helping hand to those that so desperately need our support.
“We have been in contact with Government offices over the last few weeks seeking clarification on resettlement proposals for Afghan families and have been liaising with Surrey County Council over the welfare support that will be needed as well as clarification on funding and long-term plans. In the meantime, we have been looking at our own housing stock to see how many families and individuals we might be able to provide with shelter. At present, we are looking to support between five and ten families.
“Whilst we are pleased to see the Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme has been announced to provide safe refuge to those who supported our armed forces, we have also asked for MoD assets in Surrey and Hampshire to be explored for those who have worked with and for the UK armed forces over the past 20 years.
“We now await further detail from the Government but, in the meantime, will continue to explore all options available to us in order to make our own contribution to helping those in need. Whilst there is an urgency to the situation, we know from our considerable experience assisting Syrian refugees with complex circumstances over the past five years that we need to make provision for the long-term too, ensuring there is support not just from a housing perspective but with regards to a range of services including medical care, education and mental health support.
“Our local communities and voluntary organisations are already offering their assistance for which we are very grateful and we will be sharing more details of how people can help as soon as we have a clearer idea of what is needed.”