Carlisle prepares to welcome refugees

Yashar Kassar speaking at the event at the University of Cumbria. Credit: ITV Border

A meeting has been held in Carlisle today, to discuss how best to support the refugee families who are expected to be resettled in the city in April.

The event was organised by the Carlisle Refugee Action Group and Carlisle One World Centre, and included a speech by Yashar Kassar, a Syrian humanitarian worker.

In December Cumbria County Council rubber-stamped plans to welcome nearly 300 refugees to the county.

The community groups now want volunteers to come forward to help them settle in, and teach them English.

Labour Peer Lord Dubs. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

As the meeting was taking place in Cumbria, Cumbrian peer Lord Dubs was handing a petition with almost 50,000 signatures into Downing Street.

The petition is against the closure of the 'Dubs amendment' - a scheme to bring unaccompanied child refugees from Europe to the UK.

The government says the scheme was acting as a 'pull factor' to draw children to the UK, and that it provided opportunities for people smugglers.

Former refugee Lord Dubs said he was "shocked and in disbelief" at the government's decision to end the scheme.