How does it help?
In the year ending June 2015, there were 25, 771 asylum applications to the UK - a 10% increase on the previous year. The largest number of applications came from nationals of Eritrea, Pakistan and Syria (Home office, Statistical News Release: Immigration Statistics, 27/08/2015).
The worsening situation in the Middle East is likely to further increase these numbers, especially if the UK fulfils its commitment to open its doors to 20,000 refugees from Syria as announced by the Government. Recent studies from Mind, Refugee Council and the Red Cross have pointed to the need for additional support for refugees, to ensure they have a successful settling experience and avoid the long-lasting and debilitating effects caused by insecurity, isolation, anxiety and depression.
In addition there can be hostility among hosting communities to new refugees. In a survey by YouGov, 48% of respondents opposed their local council hosting 10 refugee families. Recent terrorist attacks are also spreading a negative perception of new refugees coming from the Middle East.
However, the majority of refugees are a resource for hosting communities, providing diversity and motivated individuals who are willing to work and learn, with a strong desire to prosper in their new country. Time Together will work closely with local communities to deliver the project, thereby helping to promote social integration and cohesion.