Cornwall refugee group raises thousands to help resettle Syrian families

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    A refugee support group in a small Cornwall town hopes to welcome two Syrian families after raising thousands of pounds.

    Bude Welcomes Refugees, a 30-person group based in the north Cornwall seaside resort, wants to be one of the earliest adopters of the community sponsorship scheme to resettle refugee families.

    The initiative enables community organisations, including charities, faith groups, churches and businesses, to take on the role of supporting resettled refugees in the UK.

    The group has applied for charity status and presented its plan to Cornwall council for approval, which is required to secure Home Office clearance.

    Richie Heard has been volunteering in an old RNLI lifeboat to save migrants and refugees attempting the crossing from Turkey to Greece. He said the initiative showed “just how much love this part of the country has to give”.

    The lifeguard, 32, who lives in Hartland, Devon, said: “I think it’s great, I think it’s lovely, and the fact that it’s coming to Bude … There are so many people I know that would love to come out and jump on that boat, and do what I do and help in such a dramatic way, I feel very lucky to have the skills and the opportunity to do it.

    “But it’s given a lot of people here a great way to directly help these refugees who are coming across. I know so many people that have just dropped what they’re doing and started to raise money for these two families. And people here just absolutely can’t do enough to help. I haven’t heard anyone cast a negative opinion on this scheme…



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