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Councils pledge to provide homes for Syrian refugees

Councils across the Calendar region have today committed to provide homes for refugees fleeing from the warzone in Syria.

Some are giving precise figures on the numbers they will help while again there are calls on the government to announce a clear plan on how to tackle the humanitarian crisis.

Adam Fowler has been to meet Sleman Swaish who fled Syria three years ago and found refuge in Yorkshire.


The Bishop of Sheffield speaks out on refugee crisis

The Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft has spoken out on the refugee crisis in Europe.

In a blog article released today he said:

“The pictures on our screens over the last few days have been heart-rending. Many of us will have been moved to tears. But how do we translate this outpouring of compassion into action and help others to do the same? What should we do?”

He continued, “One of the deepest truths in the Bible is that God blesses people so that those people in turn can become a blessing to others” saying “As a country, we have not been blessed with peace and security and wealth and peace for our own benefit alone”

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s announcement of plans to take in 20,000 refugees from Syria over the next five years, Bishop Steven writes:

“This is a good beginning and a significant shift. It is in addition to the immense contribution Britain is already making to relief in Syria. But it can only be a beginning to Britain’s response to this crisis.”

His comments come after a meeting with Faith Leaders across the city of Sheffield and with church leaders of different denominations. Sheffield was the first City of Sanctuary in Britain and remains in the front line of welcoming strangers.

Dr Croft said “The faith communities stand ready to help in partnership with local and national government in welcoming those who find a home in our communities whatever their faith and country of origin.”


Dean of York backs #refugeeswelcome campaign

The Dean of York has called on the government to welcome more asylum seekers to the country. The Very Reverend Vivienne Faull is backing the national social media campaign #refugeeswelcome. She says although Britain provides considerable help through its overseas aid budget, more should be done to help those in desperate need.

Credit: Chris Furlong, Getty Images

Having seen the terrible suffering being experienced over recent weeks I urge the government to change its stance and commit to welcoming more asylum seekers.

York has a long history of offering sanctuary and I would welcome the chance to convene a meeting so we can respond to this crisis as a city and commit to welcoming some families. As part of this, York Minster offers a refugee family accommodation in one of its vacant properties.

– Very Reverend Vivienne Faull, the Dean of York

Botanist comes out of coma after contracting deadly virus from mosquito bite

A leading botanist from Malton in North Yorkshire who was struck down by a deadly virus while working in China has come out of a coma.

Dr Sophie Williams

31-year-old Dr Sophie Williams, remains on life support but is showing signs of recognising her family and friends. She contracted Japanese encephalitis while carrying out research last month and has been flown to Liverpool for treatment. Her family say they'll be meeting doctors later this week to get an update on Sophie's condition.

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