Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme

The definition of a refugee

Migration Watch UK define a refugee as an asylum seeker whose application has been successful. In its broader context it means a person fleeing e.g. civil war or natural disaster but not necessarily fearing persecution as defined by the 1951 Refugee Convention. 

The number of Syrian refugees who will be entering the UK

The UK would accept up to 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next 5 years. The Cheshire East Council Cabinet agreed at their meeting on 13 September to accept 3- 5 families across the lifetime of the programme. The programme will end in 2020.

Why Syrian refugees are leaving their country of origin

The civil war in Syria has been continuing for over 5 years and shows no signs of ending.  The situation has continued to worsen, with fighting intensifying in all regions and the economy and services in a state of general collapse. The full-blown civil war has killed over 220,000 people, half of whom are believed to be civilians. Bombings are destroying crowded cities and horrific human rights violations are widespread. Basic necessities like food and medical care are sparse.

Initially people fled to neighbouring countries in the hope that they could return to their homes when the conflict had ended.  However, people’s homes have been destroyed and families torn apart with many living in fear and no immediate signs of peace. Living as a refugee in neighbouring countries is untenable for many refugees, who are not permitted to work and are sliding deeper into poverty. 

How you can help Syrian refugees

We are working with partners and are keen to hear from voluntary, community and faith organisations that would be able to provide services to help us to plan for and welcome individuals and families into Cheshire East.  

Areas of support may include:

  • befriending opportunities
  • translation services
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Courses
  • mentor opportunities
  • employment support and job placements
  • volunteering opportunities

To offer support, or assist in other areas of support for asylum seekers please email

Page last reviewed: 29 June 2020