Published Thursday, 26th August 2021

As the situation develops in Afghanistan and many people are having to flee the country and seek refuge, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council has committed to offering its support.

Cllr Mark Brunt, Leader of Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, said: “Our thoughts are with those affected by the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and we want to do what we can to help.

Committed to playing our part

“Reigate & Banstead Borough Council has pledged to help and accommodate three Afghan families who played a vital part in assisting our British forces.

“We are investigating the different ways in which we can provide vital support for these vulnerable individuals and families who have been forced to flee their homes amid the developing events in the country.

"The Council is committed to playing its part and we are working closely with our partners and the Home Office to support its response.

"We are investigating options for providing accommodation, which will be sourced from the private sector.

“A dedicated team, including volunteers, will help the families to integrate successfully into the community.

“Our local communities and voluntary organisations are already offering their assistance for which we are very grateful."

“The immediate need is for accommodation. If you are interested in being a landlord and have a suitable property, we’d like to hear from you.

“Previously, the Council helped 20 refugee families from Syria resettle in the area through a partnership with Tandridge District Council and Mole Valley District Council, as part of the Government’s 2015 resettlement scheme.

"We are pleased to have been able to offer a lifeline to these families, who have made significant contributions to community life in Surrey since being resettled.”

Offers of support

If you are a landlord who has a suitable property, please contact us via the enquiry form on our website or call 01737 276000.

For members of our community that would like make other offers of help, due to operational and logistical challenges as well as COVID control considerations, all Surrey authorities are asking that any donations at this point are financial ones to charities that are best equipped to immediately support Afghan refugees. The Community Foundation for Surrey is set up to administer these donations locally and information on how to donate can be found on their website.

Alternatively, the Red Cross are already active in managing donations and supporting arrivals from Afghanistan, and wider local support will be needed from foodbanks and other charities, which can be found via Surrey Information Point.

Thank you for your generosity and support.

More information

The Council is extending its support as part of the Government scheme to provide safe refuge to those who supported our armed forces.

The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme is a bespoke resettlement scheme for current and former locally employed staff in Afghanistan which offers priority relocation to the UK to any current or former locally employed staff who are assessed to be under serious threat to life. Further information can be found on the Government fact sheet – Arap scheme

You can find out more about the support for and how you can support Afghan citizens in Surrey in these Frequently Asked Questions.