THE first Afghan refugees being placed in temporary accommodation by the Government have arrived at a Rotherham hotel.
The Holiday Inn Express in Manvers, is one of 65 venues chosen as “bridging arrangements” to support people airlifted from Afghanistan.
They will stay there while waiting to be relocated to permanent homes across the country in the coming weeks.
The hotel will be used as part of the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy, which supports people who have worked with the British military and government.
Rotherham Council leader Cllr Chris Read said: “The Government has decided that our borough should be the temporary home for a group of people towards whom we all owe a debt of gratitude.
“Many of these people have worked directly alongside and to protect the British armed forces in Afghanistan, in difficult and dangerous circumstances, and in pursuit of a better future for their country.
“Whilst this is not a role that we volunteered for, I know the whole community will want to ensure that the basic needs of our newest community are met whilst they await finding their new homes, which will be right across the country.”
Cllr Read added: “Council staff will be providing some support on-site, and we would ask that any cash donations be made to either the Refugee Council or the British Red Cross.
“We would ask that people don’t take donations or make visits to the hotel at this stage, without making prior arrangement.”
Visit www.refugeecouncil.org.uk or www.redcross.org.uk for details about donating.
The Government has pledged to take in and resettle 20,000 Afghan refugees over the next five years.
The same hotel at Manvers used by RMBC during the pandemic to support homeless people after the Government ordered rough sleepers off the streets.